Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do for your health. The sooner you quit, the sooner your body can start to heal. You will feel better and have more energy to be active with your family and friends.
It hurts almost every part of the body.
Smoking is the most preventable cause of death and disease in the United States and causes:
Learn more about how smoking affects different parts of the body.
Secondhand smoke can cause health problems for other people, too – and even pets.
In babies and children, breathing in secondhand smoke can cause:
In adults, breathing in secondhand smoke can cause heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer.
Quitting smoking is hard, but millions of people have done it successfully. In fact, more than half of Americans who have ever smoked have quit. You could be one of them!
Nicotine – the drug found in tobacco – is just as addictive as heroin or cocaine. It’s the nicotine in cigarettes that causes the strong feeling that you want to smoke (craving). Remember – quitting isn’t easy, but it is possible!
Take these steps to help you quit:
Find out more about steps you can take as you get ready to quit smoking.
You will feel better after you quit.
What else will quitting do for me?
Check out these real stories of people who have been hurt by smoking.
Will quitting make me gain weight?
Some people worry about gaining weight when they quit smoking. The average weight gain after quitting smoking is small – about 6 to 10 pounds.
Take these steps to quit smoking.
Write down your reasons to quit.
Make a list of all the reasons you want to quit. For example, your reasons to quit might be to set a healthy example for your children and to save money. Keep the list with you to remind yourself why quitting is worth it.
Set a quit date.
Make a quit plan.
Use this online quit plan tool or call the tobacco quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) for free support and help setting up your quit plan.
Change your daily routine.
Changing your routine on and after your quit date can help you break habits related to smoking.
Break the connection between eating and smoking.
Many people like to smoke when they finish a meal. Here are some ways to break the connection:
Deal with stress.
Manage stress by creating peaceful times in your daily schedule. Try relaxation methods like deep breathing or lighting candles.
You can also check out these tips for dealing with stress as you quit.
When you quit smoking, the urge to smoke will come and go. Most cravings only last 5 to 10 minutes.
Here are some ways to manage cravings:
Remember, quitting may be hard – so prepare yourself.
If you want help, talk with a doctor or pharmacist.
When you stop smoking, your body goes through withdrawal from nicotine. This means you may feel irritable, anxious, restless, or hungry. You may even have trouble sleeping. Find out about medicines that can help with withdrawal.
What about cost?
You can get free help with quitting by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or by visiting Smokefree.gov.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law passed in 2010, insurance plans must cover some services to help people quit smoking. Depending on your insurance, you may be able to get these services at no cost to you.
Check with your insurance company to find out what kind of counseling and medicines are included in your plan. For information about other services covered by the Affordable Care Act,visit HealthCare.gov.
Don’t give up!
Remember, it takes time to overcome addiction. Check out these tips on staying smokefree.
Learn from the past.
Many people try to quit more than once before they succeed. Most people who start smoking again do so within the first 3 months after quitting. If you’ve tried to quit before, think about what worked for you and what didn’t.
Depression, drinking alcohol, and being around other smokers can make it harder to quit. If you are finding it hard to stay quit, talk with your doctor about what medicines might help you. Remember, quitting will make you healthier.