If you smoke, quitting smoking is the most important step you can take to protect your lungs. It is NEVER too late to quit. Your doctor can help you decide which smoking cessation method will work best for you.
You’ve probably heard how smoking can be harmful. Here’s some ways quitting can be helpful. If you quit, you will:
There’s no one way to quit that works for everyone. A smoking cessation program may be helpful to you. Ask your health care provider about smoking cessation programs in your community.
Before you quit all at once (“cold turkey”), setting a plan will help:
Even nonsmokers experience a decrease in lung capacity (the volume of air you are able to take in and forcibly exhale in one second) with age. However, you can minimize the impact by quitting smoking. If you want to breathe easier, the earlier you quit, the more lung capacity you will retain -- here are some facts: If you are a smoker who has smoked an average of 30 cigarettes a day beginning at age 25, your lung capacity could decrease slightly more than a non-smoker and would be below the average capacity of a nonsmoker by the time you turn 40.
Furthermore, if you are a smoker who is at risk for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (a lung disease), your lung capacity can decrease rapidly by age 65 at which point you will likely be frequently short of breath.
You may: crave cigarettes, feel very hungry, cough often, get headaches, have difficulty concentrating, have constipation, feel very tired, have a sore throat or have difficulty sleeping.
Although withdrawal symptoms will be the strongest when you first quit, they should go away within a few weeks.
To quit smoking, you must be ready emotionally and mentally. Some people are more ready to quit than others. Look at these five stages of change.
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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition.
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