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New Year, New You: Quit Smoking in 2023

New Year, New You: Quit Smoking in 2023

Are you thinking about making a New Year's resolution to quit smoking? If so, you're making a great decision! Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do for your health.

Smoking is a leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Nearly 40 million U.S. adults still smoke cigarettes, and over 3 million middle and high school students use at least one tobacco product, including e-cigarettes. Oklahoma is 36th in the United States for smoking, according to OKToQuit website. More than 580,000 Oklahoma adults smoke and smoking causes 7,500 deaths in Oklahoma each year.

It can cause a lot of different health problems, like lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Even if you don't smoke, secondhand smoke (smoke from someone else's cigarette) can be harmful to your health.

While quitting earlier in life yields greater health benefits, quitting smoking is beneficial to health at any age. Even people who have smoked for many years or have smoked heavily will benefit from quitting.

Quitting smoking can be hard because nicotine, the addictive substance in tobacco, is very addictive. It can make you feel physically and mentally dependent on smoking. To quit smoking, you might need to make changes to your behavior, get support from loved ones, and use medications or other strategies to help you manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

One way to quit smoking is to use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). NRT products, like gum, patches, lozenges, and inhalers, give you a small amount of nicotine to help you manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms. NRT can be especially helpful for people who have tried to quit smoking before but haven't been successful.

There are also prescription medications that can help you quit smoking, like varenicline (Chantix) and bupropion (Zyban), according to the CDC. These medications block the effects of nicotine and reduce cravings. However, these medications may have side effects and may not be right for everyone. It's important to talk to a healthcare provider before starting any medication.

Help To Quit Smoking in Oklahoma

In addition to using medications, there are other things you can do to help you quit smoking. For example, you can:

  • Set a quit date: Choose a specific day to stop smoking and make a plan for how you'll handle cravings and other challenges.
  • Identify triggers: Figure out what situations, emotions, or other things make you want to smoke and come up with strategies to manage those triggers.
  • Get support: Ask friends, family, or a support group for help and encouragement.
  • Practice relaxation techniques: Use deep breathing or meditation to help manage cravings and reduce stress.
  • Exercise: Physical activity can help reduce cravings and improve your mood.

Quitting smoking can be tough, but it's worth it. Just a few weeks after quitting, your risk of having a heart attack starts to go down. And after one year, your risk of heart disease is cut in half, according to the CDC. Plus, quitting smoking can improve your overall health and quality of life, and it can save you money on tobacco products and healthcare costs.

Over time, people who quit smoking see many benefits to their health. After you smoke your last cigarette, your body begins a series of positive changes that continue for years.

Almost immediately, your heart rate will drop. Over the next several days of quitting, nicotine levels in your blood will drop to levels of someone who doesn’t smoke. Coughing and shortness of breath will decrease over the next year. Overtime your health will improve.

If you're ready to quit smoking, there are a lot of resources available to help you. Quitlines, for example, offer free support and resources for people who are trying to quit smoking.

Oklahoma Quit Week is January 18-25, 2023

OK to Quit is a program offered to Oklahomans to help Oklahomans quit smoking.

“We are a group of Oklahomans who care passionately about the health of our friends and neighbors. Some of us are in healthcare, some own local businesses, some are educators and some are state, county or local officials,” according to the OKtoQuit website. “We all have the same goal: to help more Oklahomans quit smoking. We know it’s hard. We know it won’t happen overnight. We also know you can do it. We want to make sure you know how to get help to make it happen.”

You can also talk to your Norman Regional healthcare provider for more information and support.

The road to quit smoking can be a rocky road. One of the biggest risk factors to lung cancer is smoking. Fortunately, the most effective way to reduce your chances of lung cancer is to quit smoking and Norman Regional says it’s essential to screen for lung cancer.

So if you're thinking about making a New Year's resolution to quit smoking, go for it! It may be tough at first, but the benefits are worth it.

To learn more about lung cancer screening visit our website. For more information and to schedule an appointment contact Norman Regional’s Primary Care – South OKC clinic at (405) 912-3400 about the simple and low cost screening. A screening can be done on an annual basis for those that meet criteria. Screenings should also be covered by most insurance carriers.