Smoking: Become a Quitter

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2008-12-29 10:45

President-elect Barack Obama is one of the 21% of Americans who smoke. The White House has a no smoking policy. According to an interview given in the November issue of Men's Health magazine, his heaviest smoking is seven or eight cigarettes a day though more often only three a day.

Like many smokers, Mr. Obama has quit several times, restarted, used nicotine gum and patches. It is not unusual for an average smoker to try 8-10 times to quit before being successful.

Smoking is harmful to your health and those around you. Smoking is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths in the United States.

There are many reasons to quit smoking:

* Smoking is linked to at least 10 different cancers (lung, bladder, esophageal, laryngeal, oral and throat cancers, acute myeloid leukemia, cervical, kidney, pancreatic, and stomach).
* Smoking is linked to chronic lung diseases (emphysema, asthma)
* Smoking is linked to coronary heart and cardiovascular diseases
* Smoking is linked to reproductive effects and sudden infant death syndrome.
* Smoking is linked to periodontitis.
* Smoking is linked to osteoporosis.
* Smoking is linked to poor wound healing.
* Smoking is linked to Alzheimer's, impotence, Lupus, etc.
* Smoking ages your skin.

Another reason in today's economy is the expense of smoking. A pack-a-day habit cost around $1000 a year. Non-smokers often pay lower car insurance premiums.

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Tips on quitting smoking:

1. Set a quit date.

2. Change your environment by removing ALL cigarettes and ashtrays from your home, car, and work place.

3. Don't cheat – not even one puff! But if you do, don't take that as surrender. Keep trying.

4. Seek support and encouragement, even if by phone. You can call toll free at 1-800-QUITNOW (1-800-784-8669).

5. See your doctor and ask about nicotine gum and or patches.

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