Cigarettes are a tough habit to break. Here are resources to help you quit smoking.
Hilary Tindle, M.D., founding director, Vanderbilt Center for Tobacco, Addictions and Lifestyle, works to help people quit smoking — which means beating an addiction to nicotine.
“It’s absolutely true that quitting smoking is the best thing people can do for their health,” Tindle said. The benefits of quitting kick in almost immediately, she said. Within 20 minutes, blood pressure drops. The risk of having a heart attack begins to decrease two weeks to three months after your last cigarette. Within a year of quitting, a smoker’s risk of heart disease drops by half, Tindle said. After 10 smoke-free years, the risk of dying from lung cancer is half the risk faced by someone who’s still smoking.
Tindle points to the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine as a good resource for people trying to quit smoking. The QuitLine can be reached at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or tnquitline.org
For more strategies and motivation as you’re breaking a tobacco habit:
- Best way to quit: Cold turkey or weaning off cigarettes?
- Dealing with nicotine cravings
- This is your body off cigarettes: The health benefits start in 20 minutes
- What parents should know about e-cigarettes
- How to quit smoking if your spouse still smokes
- How to support a loved one who’s trying to quit
- How to discourage your kid from smoking. (Hint from Tindle: Talk to freedom-loving teenagers about the misery of addiction. “Smoking,” she said, “is a life of being tied to a master.”)
- Powerful motivation: stories from former smokers
If you’re quitting smoking, The Tennessee Tobacco Quitline, available online or by toll-free call at 1-800-QUIT-NOW, is a great resource. For more tips and inspiration, see My Southern Health’s posts about quitting smoking.