Quit Smoking and Tobacco Use

Quitting smoking and tobacco use may seem like a goal that is quite hard to achieve. Although it may take tobacco users several tries before they are finally able to break the habit, quitting is something that you can do with the proper tools and support.

Why should I quit smoking?

Quitting is a healthy thing to do. Many people die each year from diseases related to smoking or other tobacco use. Studies have shown that about half of all regular tobacco users die of nicotine-related diseases. Nicotine use is responsible for one in five U.S. deaths and costs the economy at least $100 billion in health care costs due to many health problems such as lung cancer, heart disease, stroke and emphysema.

You can quit smoking

  • Nicotine is a powerful addiction.
  • Quitting is hard, but don’t give up.
  • Many people try two or three times before they quit for good.
  • Each time you try to quit, the more likely you will be to succeed.

Good reasons for quitting:

  • You will live longer and live healthier.
  • The people you live with, especially your children, will be healthier
  • You will have more energy and breathe easier.
  • You will lower your risk of a heart attack, stroke or cancer.

Tips to help you quit:

  • Get rid of ALL cigarettes and ashtrays in your home, car or workplace.
  • Ask your family, friends and coworkers for support.
  • Stay in nonsmoking areas.
  • Breathe in deeply when you feel the urge to smoke.
  • Be prepared with substitutes for trigger situations — stock up on gum, mints or hard candies.
  • Keep yourself busy.
  • Reward yourself often.

Keys to quitting

By considering these five points, you will be able to create a strategy for quitting:

  1. Get ready: Set a date to quit and stick to it. It may be helpful to cut down on the number of cigarettes you smoke each day for a week or two before your quit date.
  2. Line up a support system: Tell your family, friends and coworkers you are quitting. Discuss your decision with your doctor or other health care provider. Get group, individual or telephone counseling.
  3. Learn new behaviors: When you first quit, try changing your daily routine. Doing things differently may distract you from urges to smoke or chew. Plan something enjoyable to do each day to reward yourself and reduce your stress level.
  4. Get medication: Talk with your health care provider about which medication would work best for you. Prescription drugs, nicotine inhalers and nicotine nasal spray as well as over-the-counter nicotine patches and gum can help you quit.
  5. Be prepared for relapse: Many people have to “practice” quitting a few times before they break the habit for good.

A variety of tools, from information, to one-on-one counseling, to support groups are available to assist you in your decision to stop using tobacco products. Try contacting one of the following organizations for additional information, suggestions and support:

Highmark Wholecare
1-800-392-1147 TTY 711

Pennsylvania Free Quitline
1-877-784-8669 (QUIT-NOW) or visit https://pa.quitlogix.org/en-US/

Tobacco Free Allegheny
(412) 322-8321 or visit www.tobaccofreeallegheny.org

American Cancer Society
1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org

American Heart Association
1-800-AHA-USA1 or 1-800-242-8721 or visit www.heart.org

American Lung Association
1-800-LUNG-USA or 1-800-586-4872 or visit www.lung.org

American Respiratory Alliance
1-800-220-1990 or visit www.healthylungs.org

National Cancer Institute
1-800-4-CANCER or 1-800-422-6237 or visit www.cancer.gov

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
(301) 427-1104 or visit www.ahrq.gov

Nicotine Anonymous