|Quitting Smoking: The Smart Choice|
|Tuesday, February 18, 2014|
One of the most difficult topics to address with patients is one that seems to be a no-brainer: quitting smoking. For years, many governmental agencies have pushed public service campaigns aimed at stemming the tide of tobacco use. And to some extent, these attempts have been successful: in the last 50 years, adult smoking rates have fallen from 43% to 18% of the population, and lung cancer rates are steadily declining.
But tobacco use and related illnesses remain the No. 1 cause of mortality in the United States. And between the years 2000-2004, cigarette smoking caused nearly $200 billion in health care related financial losses.
It is a fact that nicotine is addictive. And it is also a fact that tobacco companies do not want smokers to quit – they spent $24 million a day in 2011 advertising their products. Finally, it is a fact that quitting can be extremely difficult, with most smokers requiring multiple attempts prior to successfully quitting.
So, why should you quit? There are a million reasons, but they all boil down to one: smoking cessation will greatly improve your health and quality of life. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), people who quit smoking:
With so many reasons to quit, why not make 2014 the year that you stop smoking? There are a few prescription, as well as over-the-counter smoking cessation aids available; counseling has also been found to increase success. You should talk to your family doctor about which method(s) are most appropriate for you.
Here are some methods I often suggest in my practice to help patients in their attempts to quit smoking.
And if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again! Your health - and that of those around you – depends on it.
Dr. Jacqueline Riedel is a Family Medicine physician and a member of the Kennedy Health Alliance. She practices in West Deptford, NJ, and can be reached by calling 856/384-0210