Quad Cities, IL/IA

Working with the community... for a healthier community.

Being a Quitter Can Be a Good Thing!


By Greta Nelson RN, Good Samaritan Society – Services@Home

It’s no secret that quitting smoking has almost endless benefits, and there’s no doubt that it can be very difficult to quit, as well. If you are considering quitting, I am hopeful that this will help you gain some insight as to those benefits and empower you to make a lifetime choice to quit for good. Among the 250 known harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke at least 69 can cause cancer. Here are some benefits to kicking the habit:

  • Save money. At $5 a pack, one pack a day adds up to over $150 a month. This adds up to over $1,800 a year. Think about what you could do with that money in a year’s time, maybe take a nice vacation or put a down payment on a car.
  • According to the American Cancer Society, the health benefits of quitting start almost immediately, but can take some time to get the full benefits. After only 12 hours, your heart rate and blood pressure begin to drop back down to normal rates. After two to 12 weeks lung functions and circulation improves. After one year, your chance of coronary artery disease drops by 50 percent. After five years the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder are cut in half. Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a non-smoker. Stroke risk can fall to that of a non-smoker after two to five years. Quitting smoking also lowers your chance of developing diabetes.
  • Quitting now can help your loved ones live healthier lives. According to the CDC even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can be detrimental to one’s health. Second hand smoke exposure in children has been linked to an increase in ear infections, asthma, respiratory infections like bronchitis and pneumonia, and a greater risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Secondhand smoke exposure in adults has been linked to heart disease, lung cancer, and an increased risk of stroke.

This is just a brief look at some of the benefits of quitting. Smoking is an incredibly addicting habit that can be difficult to break. If you are ready to commit to being smoke free, here are some helpful resources:

  • Tips From Former Smokers (www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/)
    This CDC campaign website lets you view the ads, learn more about the people featured and their health conditions, and access quit-smoking resources.

  • 1-800-QUIT-NOW
    A free, phone-based service with educational materials, coaches, a quit-plan, and referrals to local resources to help you quit tobacco use.

  • BeTobaccoFree.gov
    This HHS website provides one-stop access to tobacco-related information, including information on quitting tobacco use, from its various agencies.

  • Smokefree Smartphone Apps
    Smokefree smartphone applications that help you track your quit-smoking progress, receive motivational reminders, and more.

  • FDA 101: Smoking Cessation Products
    Identifies FDA-approved products that can help you quit smoking.

Good Samaritan Society – Services@Home provides care such as housekeeping, medication reminders, preparing meals, grocery shopping, and assisting with other cares to assist people in remaining independent in their homes. To learn more about Good Samaritan Society – Services@Home, please call 563-359-4444 or visit our website at www.good-sam.com/quadcityhome.

Photo credit: triocean/alessandro0770/iStock