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Smoking Cessation
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How important is it to stop smoking?
Smoking cessation reduces the risk for developing infections, such as pneumonia, which often causes death in It is very important. Tobacco use remains the single most preventable cause of death in the United States. Cigarette smoking accounts for nearly one-third of all cancer deaths Does cancer risk change after quitting smoking?
Quitting smoking reduces the risk for developing cancer, Smoking is the most common risk factor for the and this benefit increases the longer a person remains development of lung cancer, which is the leading cause of "smoke free." People who quit smoking reduce their risk cancer death. It is also associated with many other types of developing and dying from lung cancer. They also of cancer, including cancers of the esophagus, larynx, reduce their risk of other types of cancer. The risk of kidney, pancreas, and cervix. Smoking also increases the premature death and the chance of developing cancer due risk of other health problems, such as chronic lung to cigarettes depends on the number of years of smoking, disease and heart disease. Smoking during pregnancy can the number of cigarettes smoked per day, the age at which have adverse effects on the unborn child, such as smoking began, and the presence or absence of illness at premature delivery and low birth weight. the time of quitting. For people who have already developed cancer, quitting smoking reduces the risk of What are the immediate benefits of stopping smoking?
The health benefits of smoking cessation (quitting) are At what age is smoking cessation the most beneficial?
immediate and substantial. Almost immediately, a person's circulation begins to improve and the level of carbon Smoking cessation benefits men and women at any age. monoxide in the blood begins to decline. Carbon monoxide, Some older adults may not perceive the benefits of a colorless, odorless gas found in cigarette smoke, reduces quitting smoking; however, smokers who quit before age the blood's ability to carry oxygen. A person's pulse rate and 50 have half the risk of dying in the next 16 years blood pressure, which may be abnormally high while compared with people who continue to smoke. By age 64, smoking, begin to return to normal. Within a few days of their overall chance of dying is similar to that of people quitting, a person's sense of taste and smell return, and the same age who have never smoked. Older adults who quit smoking also have a reduced risk of dying from coronary heart disease and lung cancer. Additional, What are the long-term benefits of stopping smoking?
immediate benefits (such as improved circulation, and increased energy and breathing capacity) are other good People who quit smoking live longer than those who reasons for older adults to become smoke free. continue to smoke. After 10 to 15 years, a previous tobacco user's risk of premature death approaches that of What are some of the difficulties associated with
a person who has never smoked. About 10 years after quitting smoking?
quitting, an ex-smoker's risk of dying from lung cancer is 30 percent to 50 percent less than the risk for those who Quitting smoking may cause short-term after-effects, especially continue to smoke. Women who stop smoking before for those who have smoked a large number of cigarettes for a becoming pregnant or who quit in the first 3 months of long period of time. People who quit smoking are likely to feel pregnancy can reverse the risk of low birth weight for the anxious, irritable, hungry, more tired, and have difficulty baby and reduce other pregnancy-associated risks. sleeping. They may also have difficulty concentrating. Many Quitting also reduces the risk of other smoking-related tobacco users gain weight when they quit, but usually less than diseases, including heart disease and chronic lung disease. 10 pounds. These changes do subside. People who kick the There are also many benefits to smoking cessation for people habit have the opportunity for a healthier future. who are sick or who have already developed cancer. How can health care providers help their patients to
conditions, allergies, or asthma, nor is it stop smoking?
Doctors and dentists can be good sources of information ƒ A nicotine inhaler, also available only by
about the health risks of smoking and about quitting. prescription, was approved by the FDA in 1997. This They can tell their patients about the proper use and device delivers a vaporized form of nicotine to the potential side effects of nicotine replacement therapy, and mouth through a mouthpiece attached to a plastic help them find local smoking cessation programs. cartridge. Even though it is called an inhaler, the device does not deliver nicotine to the lungs the way Doctors and dentists can also play an important role by a cigarette does. Most of the nicotine only travels to asking patients about smoking at every office visit; the mouth and throat, where it is absorbed through advising patients to stop; assisting patients by setting a the mucous membranes. Common side effects quit date, providing self-help materials, and suggesting include throat and mouth irritation and coughing. nicotine replacement therapies (when appropriate); and Anyone with a bronchial problem such as asthma What is nicotine replacement therapy?
Are there smoking cessation aids that do not
contain nicotine?
Nicotine is the drug in cigarettes and other forms of tobacco that causes addiction. Nicotine replacement Bupropion, a prescription antidepressant marketed as products deliver small, steady doses of nicotine into the Zyban®, was approved by the FDA in 1997 to treat body, which helps to relieve the withdrawal symptoms nicotine addiction. This drug can help to reduce nicotine often felt by people trying to quit smoking. These withdrawal symptoms and the urge to smoke. Some products, which are available in four forms (patches, common side effects of bupropion are dry mouth, gum, nasal spray, and inhaler), appear to be equally difficulty sleeping, dizziness, and skin rash. People effective. There is evidence that combining the nicotine should not use this drug if they have a seizure condition patch with nicotine gum or nicotine nasal spray increases such as epilepsy or an eating disorder such as anorexia long-term quit rates compared with using a single type of nervosa or bulimia, or if they are taking other medicines nicotine replacement therapy. Nicotine gum, in combination with nicotine patch therapy, may also reduce withdrawal symptoms better than either medication alone. What if efforts to quit result in relapse?
Researchers recommend combining nicotine replacement therapy with advice or counseling from a doctor, dentist, Many smokers find it difficult to quit smoking, and it may take two or three attempts before they are finally able to quit. Although relapse rates are most common in the first ƒ The nicotine patch, which is available over the
few weeks or months after quitting, people who stop counter (without a prescription), supplies a steady smoking for 3 months are often able to remain cigarette- amount of nicotine to the body through the skin. The nicotine patch is sold in varying strengths as an 8- week smoking cessation treatment. Nicotine doses What agencies and organizations are available to
are gradually lowered as the treatment progresses. help people stop smoking?
The nicotine patch may not be a good choice for people with skin problems or allergies to adhesive A number of organizations provide information and materials about where to find help to stop smoking. State and local health agencies often have information about community ƒ Nicotine gum is available over the counter in 2- and
smoking cessation programs. The local or county government 4-mg strengths. Chewing nicotine gum releases section in the phone book (blue pages) has current phone nicotine into the bloodstream through the lining of numbers for health agencies. Information to help people quit the mouth. Nicotine gum might not be appropriate for smoking is also available through community hospitals, the people with temporomandibular joint disease (TMJ) yellow pages (under "drug abuse and addiction"), public or for those with dentures or other dental work such libraries, health maintenance organizations, health fairs, ƒ Nicotine nasal spray was approved by the U.S. Food
Connecticut Smoking Cessation Programs:
and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996 for use by Infoline
prescription only. The spray comes in a pump bottle Phone 2-1-1
containing nicotine that tobacco users can inhale National Cancer Institute, U.S. National Institutes of Health when they have an urge to smoke. This product is not recommended for people with nasal or sinus QuestionsAndAnswersAboutSmokingCessation070607


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