Quitters Win: Stop Smoking To Reclaim Better Health
The bad news is widely known: Smoking tobacco is an addictive habit that can lead to serious health problems and diseases, as well as an early death.
The good news is not as well publicized: Quitting. Even in long-time smokers, quitting will greatly reduce the risks for developing smoking-related diseases, thereby positively impacting life span.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that stopping smoking reduces the risks for:
- lung cancer and many other types of cancers
- heart disease, stroke and vascular disease
- respiratory symptoms (coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath)
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), one of the leading causes of death in the United States.
Overcoming Addiction: Difficult, But Worth It
Medical professionals acknowledge that it can be very difficult for many people to stop smoking. Tobacco contains the drug nicotine, which research suggests may be as addictive as heroin, cocaine and alcohol. Withdrawal can be very uncomfortable, and symptoms may include: nicotine cravings, feeling hungrier than typical which may lead to weight gain, having difficulty focusing, and feeling anxious, irritable or angry.
However, helpful treatments and supportive resources are available and effective. In fact, the CDC points out that since 2002, there are more former smokers than current smokers.
Furthermore, while people who quit at a younger age naturally realize greater benefits, it is never too late to quit smoking. Benefits are realized at all ages.
Commit To Quit
Research has shown that the following treatments can be effective in helping people quit smoking, although many people are successful without these methods of assistance.
- Behavioral therapies
- Counseling—options include individual, group or via telephone.
- Nicotine replacement products, including prescription medications and over-the-counter solutions such as a nicotine patch, gum or lozenges.
- Non-nicotine medications available by prescription.
Also, it’s worth noting that counseling and medication used together is a more effective strategy than using either one alone. If you’re serious about quitting—and at Medac, we heartily encourage it—talking to your doctor is a good place to start.
So be a quitter. It’s a proven, winning strategy for improving your health and decreasing your risks of disease.
A non-smoking facility that encourages smoking cessation and other healthy habits, Medac provides excellent medical care without an appointment at four convenient locations every day of the year. Our Military Cutoff, Porters Neck and Monkey Junction locations are open 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., and the Shipyard Boulevard location is the area’s only urgent care that is open until 11 p.m.