Timeline for benefits of quitting smoking

Timeline for benefits of quitting smoking

Timeline for smoking cessation benefits

Timeline for smoking cessation benefits

Quit smoking today and you may stop a heart attack tomorrow! One of the major risks for smoking is a heart attack–and your risk for a heart attack drops within 24 hours of quitting smoking!

Smoking causes 480,000 deaths every single year. To put this in relative terms, if every man, woman and child in Annapolis were killed beginning January 1, 2015, we would all be dead before the end of January 27th. If we did the same with Baltimore, we would have wiped out everyone by spring 2016. It’s 40,000 people per month–almost as many US soldiers killed in 10 years of the Vietnam war! As a smoker, do you really want to be in this category?

Smoking kills 480,000 per year

Smoking kills 480,000 per year

Truth is, most smokers want to quit–or at least know they should. Statistics and scare tactics don’t help too much. The American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout was November 20th but even if you missed that, the holidays are a great time to stop smoking–and the season that many smokers are thinking of quitting.

If you know someone who still smokes, sharing this article and it’s resources might be just the right timing and the right push to help your friend or loved one to quit.

According to Yvonne Hunt at the National Cancer Institute’s tobacco control branch, “We have a gold standard, and it’s a combination of counseling and medication.” But just 4% of potential quitters use such combinations, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Counseling and guidance is critical. People interested in smoking can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) to reach counselors on your state’s quit line or Evolve Medical is more than happy to help people in person, virtually or by phone. Good resources include Be Tobacco Free.gov and Harvard has a very nice resource beginning with “Help Smokers Quit When Nicotine Replacement Alone Doesn’t Work”.  Some of the most important advice is summarized here:

Plan ahead

People break addictions in “stages of change.”

The very first step is to be reading this article and even thinking remotely, maybe, that it is time for a change. Then you will need to work through the following steps:

1. You might know that smoking can cause health problems. But you don’t really believe smoking is a problem for you.
2. You recognize that quitting is probably right thing to do. But you still are uncertain if you want or need to quit.
3. You’ve accepted the idea of quitting and start looking for ways to accomplish it.
4. You take one or more definite steps. Maybe you set a quit date, or sign up for a stop-smoking group. And you quit smoking—at least for a while.
5. You are tempted to return to smoking. This is true for any type of behavior change. Understand that this is expected.

Don’t give up

If you succeed on your first attempt to quit smoking, congratulations! If not, try again when you are ready. The average person makes several attempts before quitting for good.

Using nicotine replacement is a good way to deal with nicotine withdrawal symptoms. If it doesn’t work, ask your doctor about the possibility of adding varenicline or bupropion (Chantix and Wellbutrin/Zyban). 

Lastly, if you are even thinking of quitting and want more help, use one of the resources below or call Evolve today: 844-322-4222. Or simply stop in–we are just off Forest Drive near the CVS and Ledos.

Good luck and hope this helps!