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Smoking / Tobacco Cessation

Tobacco use can lead to nicotine dependence and serious health problems. Cessation can significantly reduce the risk of suffering from smoking-related diseases. Tobacco dependence is a chronic condition that often requires repeated interventions, but effective treatments and helpful resources exist.

Smokers can and do quit smoking. In fact, today there are more former smokers than current smokers.

Nicotine Dependence

  • Nicotine is the psychoactive drug in tobacco products that produces dependence. Most smokers are dependent on nicotine.
  • Nicotine dependence is the most common form of chemical dependence in the United States.6 Research suggests that nicotine may be as addictive as heroin, cocaine, or alcohol.
  • Quitting smoking is difficult and may require multiple attempts. Users often relapse because of stress, weight gain, and withdrawal symptoms.
  • Examples of nicotine withdrawal symptoms include irritability, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and increased appetite.

Breaking free from nicotine dependence is not the only reason to quit smoking. Cigarette smoke contains a deadly mix of more than 7,000 chemicals; hundreds are toxic and about 70 can cause cancer. Cigarette smoke can cause serious health problems, numerous diseases, and death.

Fortunately, people who stop smoking greatly reduce their risk for disease and premature death. Although the health benefits are greater for people who stop at earlier ages, cessation is beneficial at all ages.

Smoking cessation is associated with the following health benefits.

  • Smoking cessation lowers the risk for lung and other types of cancer.
  • Smoking cessation reduces the risk for coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. Coronary heart disease risk is substantially reduced within 1 to 2 years of cessation.
  • Smoking cessation reduces respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. The rate of decline in lung function is slower among persons who quit smoking.
  • Smoking cessation reduces the risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), one of the leading causes of death in the United States.
  • Smoking cessation by women during their reproductive years reduces the risk for infertility. Women who stop smoking during pregnancy also reduce their risk of having a low birth weight baby.

Above Information cited from: www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/cessation/quitting/index.htm

For more information, visit: www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/cessation/quitting/index.htm

 

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