Nearly half-a-million people die from tobacco-caused disease each year in the U.S. – this includes 11,000 New Jerseyans who are expected to die this year from smoking.
With statistics like these hitting so close to home, there is no time like the present to start making a change.
New Year’s resolutions are never easy to keep, and quitting smoking may seem impossible. Do not be discouraged. Quitting smoking is something you can achieve with the right resources. Start today!
Most people don’t think of quitting smoking as something you should get help with. The reality is that less than five out of 100 smokers who try to quit on their own are successful.
With the proper help and resources, you can increase this success rate as much as ten-fold.
Here are some important points to remember about quitting for good:
• You are never too young, old, sick, or healthy to quit. Even if you have smoked for 40-plus years, you can still significantly reduce your risk of disease by stopping today. The benefits of quitting start within a few hours and last a lifetime.
• Nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs around, but it is only one of the 7,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke. Smoking is the most dangerous way to get nicotine. Using nicotine medicines (patch, gum, lozenge, inhaler, and nasal spray) can reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms without any of the dangerous toxins found in smoke.
• There is no magic treatment to wipe away any desire to smoke. The best treatments include FDA-approved medications to reduce cravings and withdrawal, behavioral counseling to help change habits and rituals, and changes in your environment to make it easier to stay quit.
Courtesy of Michael Steinberg, M.D., M.P.H., FACP, a member of The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) and Director of the UMDNJ-Tobacco Dependence Program. He is also an Associate Professor of general internal medicine at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and an Associate Professor of health education and behavioral science at UMDNJ-School of Public Health. To reach the UMDNJ-Tobacco Dependence Program, call (732) 235-8222.