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We want to be sure that you know that it is NEVER TOO LATE to quit. To help us take care of you, we strongly encourage you to quit tobacco. View the Tobacco and You flyer to help you quit.

Tips to QUIT:

  • Make a plan of action with your health care provider to quit any form of tobacco: cigarettes, cigars, pipes or spit tobacco.
  • Stick to your “quit date”.
  • List reasons to quit and keep them with you.
  • Get support from family and friends.
  • Consider using Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and/or prescriptions to decrease cravings. Evidence shows medications can approximately double your chance of quitting.
  • Seek support: groups, telephone counseling programs, or online support sites.
  • It may take more than one attempt to quit.
  • It’s NEVER TOO LATE to quit.

Tools to QUIT:

  • Over-the-counter medications: Nicotine patch, gum, or lozenge
  • Prescription medications: Nicotine inhaler or spray, Bupropion SR (Zyban®), varenicline (Chantix®)
  • Counseling
  • Telephone or online support sites

Benefits of Quitting Over Time (from the American Cancer Society):

  • 20 minutes: Your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
  • 12 hours: Carbon monoxide levels in the blood drop to normal.
  • 2 weeks to 3 months: Circulation improves. Your lung function increases.
  • 1 to 9 months: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease. Cilia start to regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.
  • 1 year: Your risk of having coronary artery disease is half that of a continuing tobacco user.
  • 5 years: Stroke risk can fall to that of a non-tobacco user 2 to 5 years after quitting.
  • 10 years: Your risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a continuing tobacco user. The risk of cancer of the larynx and pancreas decreases.
  • 15 years: Your risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-tobacco user.

Steps to Help You Quit Tobacco:

  1. Get ready:
    • Set a quit date, ideally within 2 weeks.
    • Remove tobacco products from your environment. Get rid of ALL tobacco, matches, lighters and ashtrays in your home, car, and place of work.
    • Don’t let others use tobacco in your home.
    • Review past quit attempts: What helped? What led to relapse?
    • Anticipate challenges, particularly during the critical first few weeks, including nicotine withdrawal.
    • Identify reasons for quitting and benefits of quitting.
    • Stop buying tobacco.
    • Identify your triggers; pay attention to when and why you use tobacco.
    • Clean your clothes to get rid of the smell of smoke.

  2. Get support and encouragement:
    • Get support from family, friends, and coworkers. Tell them you are quitting and ask them to support you.
    • Get individual, group, or telephone counseling.

  3. Learn new skills and behaviors:
    • Distract yourself from urges to use tobacco by talking to someone, going for a walk, or getting busy with a task.
    • Change your routine by taking different routes to work, drink tea instead of coffee. Eat a different breakfast or eat at a new location.
    • Try stress relief activities such as: stretching, exercise, or reading.
    • Think of other things to hold in your hand instead of a cigarette, pipe or cigar.
    • Drink a lot of water or other fluids.
    • Eat a healthy diet and stay active.
    • Think of uses for the extra money you will save when you stop buying tobacco.

  4. Consider medication and use it correctly:
    • Make an appointment with your health care provider for a prescription for varenicline (Chantix®), Bupropion SR (Zyban®), nicotine inhaler, or nasal spray if needed. Also discuss over-the-counter nicotine patch, gum, or lozenge.
    • Insurance may cover prescription and/ or over-the-counter medications; check with your provider.

  5. Be prepared for relapse or difficult situations:
    • Avoid alcohol: it commonly leads to tobacco relapse.
    • Other tobacco users: Being around smoke can make you want to use tobacco. Avoid situations where others will be using tobacco.
    • Weight gain: Many tobacco users gain weight when they quit, usually less than 10 pounds. Eat a healthy diet and stay active.
    • Bad mood or depression: You may feel differently in the first few weeks after quitting. See your healthcare provider if it does not improve.
    • Total abstinence is essential. Once you quit, don’t use tobacco – not even once!
    • You may need to try many times before you quit for good. KEEP TRYING!
    • If you “slip up” DON’T GIVE UP. Immediately get back on track.
Diseases Linked to Tobacco Use:
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Poor wound healing
  • Lung disease
  • Medication reactions
  • Cataracts
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth loss
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Infertility
  • Impotence
  • Peripheral arterial disease
  • Pregnancy/Birth complications

Cancers Linked to Tobacco Use:

  • Mouth
  • Lung
  • Pancreas
  • Throat
  • Larynx
  • Cervix
  • Bladder
  • Leukemia
  • Colon
  • Trachea
  • Breast
  • Stomach
  • Tongue
  • Kidney