From Our 2013 Archives
The Rewards of Quitting Smoking Start Today
Learning how to quit smoking may seem daunting. In fact, it's a journey with twists, turns, rewards, and surprises. Every journey begins with one step. And for many people, that first step is quitting for 1 day, followed by another, then another.
You can explore quitting during the American Cancer Society's Great American SmokeoutExternal Web Site Icon (GASO) on Thursday, November 21, 2013, with the support of others around the nation. The idea is to quit smoking on that day and begin to enjoy the rewards of a lifetime of smoke-free living.
Quitting smoking is an important step toward a healthier life. From the first day, you'll learn to recognize your own smoking triggers, which may surprise you. Perhaps just seeing a gas-station cigarette ad, talking on the phone, or watching an exciting sporting event may prompt a craving. Soon, you can learn how to outsmart your smoking triggers. In 24 hours, you will have boosted your chances of quitting for good.
How Can You Get Ready to Quit?
Quitting smoking can be hard, so a good plan can help you get past symptoms of withdrawal. Five steps can help.
What Are Your Reasons for Quitting?
Maybe you want to be healthier, save money for something special, or make your family proud. Write down your own reasons for quitting. They can help you stay strong. Keep the list handy and read it when you get the urge to smoke.
For Tiffany, her daughter provided a strong reason to quit smoking—one that became more urgent as the girl grew older. When Tiffany was only 16, her mother, a cigarette smoker, died of lung cancer. Tiffany greatly missed having her mother around for the milestones in her life and vowed that her daughter would not feel that same pain.
Seeing her own daughter become a teenager inspired Tiffany to take action. Tiffany shared her quitting story in CDC's national tobacco education campaign, Tips From Former Smokers.
Reward Yourself Often
Quitting smoking happens 1 minute, 1 hour, and 1 day at a time. Reward yourself often! Grab a carrot stick, practice a yoga pose, take a 3-minute break to watch a funny video, or shoot hoops with a friend after work.
Plan each milestone with a reward: a half-day smoke-free, 24 hours, 1 week, and beyond as you become a nonsmoker.
How Soon Will You See Rewards After Quitting?
You may be surprised at how quickly your body begins healing and your savings add up.Within 20 minutes, your heart rate and blood pressure drop. By bedtime, the carbon monoxide in your blood drops to normal. Every part of your body now gets more oxygen. In 24 hours, you'll have more spending money. If you smoke two $10 packs a day—that's $20 saved in a day! In a year, your risk for heart disease is half that of someone who still smokes.
You Can Do It!
The first day of a quit, a pleasant surprise for many people is finding their own personal strength. Congratulate yourself! You have what it takes to quit forever.
SOURCE: CDC, November 18, 2013