Let Us Count the Ways: Why You Should Quit
There are a number of reasons to stop using tobacco, such as
Studies have shown that quitting by age 30 reduces the chance of dying from smoking-related diseases by more than 90 percent. People who quit at about age 50 reduce their risk of dying prematurely by 50 percent compared with those who continue to smoke.
Cigarette smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke cause an estimated 438,000 premature deaths each year in the United States. Of these deaths, about 40 percent are from cancer, 35 percent are from heart disease and stroke, and 25 percent are from lung disease. Smoking is the leading cause of premature, preventable death in this country by far.
When you quit, it only takes 20 minutes for your body to start healing. Twenty minutes after smoking that last cigarette, your blood pressure and heart rate drop. Within 24 hours, your chance of a heart attack is already lower than the day before. By three months, circulation improves, walking becomes easier and lung function increases. One year after your last cigarette, your excess risk of coronary heart disease decreases by 50 percent. And it just keeps getting better.
If you think smokeless tobacco is safer than cigarettes, think again. Chewing tobacco and snuff both contain 28 cancer-causing chemicals.
NEED HELP? Just ask
You’re not alone in trying to quit—or struggling to quit. Mercy Medical Center’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Department offers Tobacco-Free You – a tobacco treatment program designed to help you stop smoking for good. For more information, call 330-430-2759 or download our flyer.
Mercy Medical Center’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Department offers a free six-week tobacco cessation class at the hospital (work-site classes are also available for a fee).
The program consists of six, 60–90 minute small group or individual sessions, which include:
- Barriers to quitting
- Behavior changes
- Stress management
- Avoiding weight gain
- Proper use of medications
Studies show your chance of successfully quitting greatly improves by combining FDA-approved medications with behavioral counseling.
Led by a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist, meetings are held monthly–with both day and evening times available–at Mercy Medical Center’s Mercy Hall Auditorium (located behind the parking garage).