Did you know that smoking causes approximately 440,000 American deaths per year? Most people know that smoking can cause cancer, heart disease, strokes and emphysema, but these are not all the health problems caused by smoking. Smoking can shorten your lifespan and reduce your quality of life.

So how come people are still lighting up? The answer – Addiction.

Cigarettes and other tobacco products contain nicotine which is highly addictive. Because of nicotine addiction, smoking is a difficult habit to break. Like cocaine or other addictive substances, the body and mind quickly become used to the nicotine in the cigarettes and a person needs to have it just to feel normal.

All forms of tobacco – cigarettes, pipes, cigars and smokeless tobacco are hazardous. Many people believe that cutting back on tobacco use reduces their health risk. In reality, the only thing that really helps a person avoid the problems associated with smoking is staying smoke free.

Good News!

If you do smoke and would like to quit, there is a lot of information and support available to you. Some of the different approaches to quitting include:

  • Quitting cold turkey
  • Nicotine replacement therapy, including patches, gum, inhalers and lozenges
  • Prescription medications such as Zyban or Chantix

Help is Available

If you do smoke, help is available to assist you with a smoking cessation plan. Remember the most powerful preventive lifestyle modification you can make to optimize your health and longevity is to quit smoking.

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