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Quitting smoking is a gift to yourself, one of the best things you can do to keep your heart disease from getting worse. Smoking reduces oxygen flow to your heart by speeding the buildup of plaque and changing the health of your blood vessels. This increases your risk for heart attack, also known as acute myocardial infarction, or AMI. Quitting helps reduce smoking's harmful effects. You may have tried to quit before, but don’t give up. Try again. Many smokers try 4 or 5 times before they succeed. It is never too early to benefit from smoking cessation, especially if you already have chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol that put you at increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
Ask for the support of your family and friends.
Join a smoking cessation class, or ask your healthcare provider for a referral to a psychologist who specializes in helping people quit smoking.
Ask your healthcare provider about nicotine replacement products and prescription medicines that can help you quit.
Choose a date within the next 2 to 4 weeks.
After picking a day, mark it in bold letters on a calendar.
Ideas to stop smoking include:
Start by giving up cigarettes at the times you least need them.
Keeping a piece of fruit close by at the times you are most vulnerable to reach for a cigarette.
Using a nicotine replacement product instead of a cigarette.
Write down a few more ideas.
Limit where you can smoke. Pick one room or a porch, and smoke only in that place.
Make smoking outdoors a house rule. Other smokers won’t tempt you as much.
Speak to smokers around you about your intent to stop smoking so they can show consideration for you and limit their smoking around you.
Hang a list of “quit benefits” in the spot where you smoke. Put one on the refrigerator and one on your car dashboard.
National Cancer Institute Smoking Quitline: 877-44U-QUIT (877-448-7848)
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