Smoking is a major risk factor for: oral cancer, larynx cancer, pharynx cancer, esophageal cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer, urinary cancer, and cervical cancer.

Smoking is a major cause of emphysema and bronchitis.

How to quit smoking

  • Develop a plan
  • Seek counseling
  • Join a support group. Groups can be found at college campuses, churches, community centers, and public health departments
  • Ask your doctor to help you. Your doctor can prescribe medications that will help make the process easier

Nicotine Patch

The nicotine patch delivers a steady stream of nicotine into your bloodstream through your skin. It can be used daily for 6 to 12 weeks. If you are using the patch, apply the patch to a different place on your skin each day to reduce irritation. The nicotine patch is available without a prescription. Most grocery stores sell them.

Nicotine nasal spray

Nicotine nasal spray delivers nicotine into the bloodstream through the lining of your nose. It is available only with a doctor’s prescription. Nicotine nasal spray should be used as part of a comprehensive behavioral modification program.

Nicotine inhaler

The nicotine inhaler looks like a short cigarette with a plastic mouthpiece. It allows you to get the nicotine your body needs to control your craving, but in a less concentrated, and less and less addictive dose. The nicotine inhaler should be used as part of a comprehensive behavioral modification program.

Nicotine gum

Nicotine gum is a gum that delivers nicotine into your bloodstream through the lining of your mouth. The goal is to use just enough nicotine to maintain your nicotine level and hold back withdrawal symptoms. It can be used daily. The instructions on the package will tell you how long you should use it. Nicotine gum should be used as part of a comprehensive behavioral modification program.

What to expect when you stop smoking

Immediately after you quit smoking, you will feel more hungry, tired and irritable than usual. You will also experience a temporary increase in coughing, strong cravings for a cigarette and difficulty concentrating and maintaining focus.

Benefits of quitting

Your health starts improving immediately after you stop smoking.

What Happens
  • The air around you is no longer dangerous to children and other adults
20 minutes
  • Blood pressure drops to normal levels
  • Your pulse drops to normal levels
  • The temperature of your hands and feet increase to normal
8 hours
  • Carbon Monoxide level in your bloodstream drops to normal
  • Oxygen level in your bloodstream drops to normal
24 hours
  • Your chance of having a heart attack starts to decrease
48 hours
  • Your senses of smell and taste improve
2 to 12 weeks
  • Circulation improves
  • Breathing improves
1 to 9 months
  • Coughing decreases
  • Sinus congestion decreases
  • Shortness of breath decreases
  • Energy levels increase
  • Ability of lungs to self clean and reduce infection increases
5 years
  • Risk of having a stroke is similar to a non smoker
10 years
  • Life expectancy is similar to a nonsmoker
  • Risk of dying from lung cancer is 1/2 of a smoker
  • Risk of developing oral, throat, esophageal, bladder, kidney and pancreatic cancer decreases.