Feel alive and well. As we breathe...shall we live.
Becoming a non-smoker is a process. The process requires understanding how you developed the habit as a smoker.
You can make it happen for yourself by understanding your trigger. People smoke for pleasurable relaxation, tension reduction, stimulation, habit and craving.
The smoking cessation process helps control the physical craving while you work on the other reasons you need to smoke.
Break loose from the habit that controls you.
Tobacco kills more Americans each year than alcohol, cocaine, crack, heroin, homicide, suicide, car accidents, fire and AIDS combined.
The most common diseases caused by smoking are:
Lung Cancer is caused by the tar in tobacco smoke. A healthy lung is pink. Years of smoking cause your lungs to turn black.
Smoking also increases your chances of developing cancers of the lip, mouth, throat, larynx, bladder, pancreas, stomach, kidney and cervix.
Heart disease and stroke are caused by nicotine and carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke.
Emphysema and Chronic Bronchitis can make it very difficult to breathe.
Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality in the United States.
Cigarette smoke is an aerosol of more than 4,000 substances produced by the incomplete combustion of tobacco. There are 43 known carcinogens in cigarette smoke. Burning cigarettes emit mainstream smoke (inhaled into smoker's lungs) and side stream smoke (smoke emitted into the air between puffs). The relative risk for most tobacco associated diseases is related to the amount and duration of smoking. Current smoking is particularly important for cardiovascular disease. Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is 85% side stream and 15% exhaled mainstream smoke. Side stream smoke has a higher concentration of some toxic substances due to less complete combustion and lack of filtering. For instance, there is 5X as much CO, 3X as much benzopyrene, 50X as much ammonia in side stream as compared to mainstream smoke. ETS exposes about 50 million non-smoking adults and 50% of children to the hazards of cigarette smoking.
The answer is Nicotine.
As one tobacco scientist put it: "No one has ever become a cigarette smoker by smoking cigarettes without nicotine".
What's In That Cigarette?
There are over 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke: Cadmium Batteries, Stearic Acid, Toluene, Ammonia, Methanol, Carbon Monoxide, Arsenic, Methane, and Acetic Acid. Each puff on a cigarette delivers nicotine to your brain within a few seconds. However, the nicotine levels in your blood drops quickly after your cigarette is done. After 20 to 30 minutes, you may feel the urge to smoke again.
The longer you go without smoking, the stronger the urge gets and the more stressful it seems. A puff on a cigarette delivers nicotine to your brain making you feel better again. However, don't be fooled, nicotine speeds up your system - it doesn't slow it down. The relaxing feeling you get from smoking a cigarette is really relief of withdrawal from nicotine.
The Physical and Social Advantages of Nicotine Withdrawal
When you stop, your body begins to repair itself immediately.
Within 20 minutes:
Your heart rate calms down.
Within 8 hours:
There is more oxygen in your blood.
Within 48 hours:
Things smell and taste better.
Within 3 months:
Your blood circulation improves.
Within 9 months:
You have less sinus congestion, wheezing and shortness of breath.
After 1 Year:
Your risk of dying of a heart attack is cut in half.
After 5 Years:
You have much less chance of having a stroke.
After 10 Years:
Much less chance of getting lung cancer. Your risk is cut in half.
Today, smokers don't have to tough it out alone. New medications, some over-the-counter and some prescription, can help take the edge off of nicotine withdrawal.
Inhalers - You just breathe the nicotine in through the mouthpiece, taking shallow breaths or shallow puffs. This gives you a little nicotine to help reduce cravings for nicotine. (You will need a prescription.)
Nicotine Gum - This is a medication you chew slowly to help make your craving for nicotine less intense. It gives you a little nicotine, without the tars and poisons you get in cigarettes. (You can buy it without a prescription.)
Zyban - This is a pill you take by mouth. It does not have any nicotine. It helps reduce your craving for nicotine. (You will need a prescription.)
The Patch - You put the patch on your arm. Then nicotine from the patch slowly gets into your body. This is a way to get a steady amount of nicotine to help lessen the cravings for a cigarette. (You can buy it without a prescription.)
Nicotine Spray - You spray this into your nose. It gets nicotine into your body fast, so it is good at reducing cravings. (You will need a prescription.)
In New York State, Medicaid will pay for these medications to help you stop smoking, so long as you get a prescription from a doctor.
Nicotine does NOT cause cancer. Cigarettes cause cancer because you inhale the dirty tobacco smoke.
Stony Brook University Hospital with Suffolk County Department of Health offer 6-week programs, meets 1 ½ hours weekly.
Suffolk County Department of Health offers 6-week program (as above) at various locations.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
You may want more information for yourself, your family, and your doctor. The NCI's Smoking Quitline is staffed by specialists who can help you quit smoking. Toll-free: 1-877-448-7848 (1-877-44U-QUIT)
The smokefree.govTM Web site is another source of information about quitting. You can get live help and links to sources of help in your area. http://www.smokefree.gov
In addition to help quitting smoking, the NCI's Cancer Information Service (CIS) provides accurate, up-to-date information on cancer. Information specialists can assist you with quitting and also explain the latest cancer information in understandable language in English, Spanish, or on TTY equipment. Toll-free: 1-800-422-6237 (1-800-4-CANCER) TTY: 1-800-332-8615
The NCI's Cancer.govTM Web site provides information from numerous NCI sources, including LiveHelp, and instant messaging service. Information specialists provide live, online assistance to users of Cancer.gov, the NCI's Web site. Click on the LiveHelp link, Monday through Friday. http://cancer.gov
American Cancer Society (ACS)
The American Cancer Society (ACS) has volunteers and offices all over the country. ACS helps people learn about the health hazards of smoking and how to become ex-smokers. Its programs include "The Great American Smokeout® in November of each year and the Cancer Crusade every April. It also has many booklets and other information that can help.
American Heart Association (AHA)
The American Heart Association (AHA) has thousands of volunteers. It has 130,000 members (doctors, scientists, and others) in 55 state and regional groups. AHA makes books, tapes, and videos about the effects of smoking on the heart. AHA has also written a guidebook on weight-control in quit-smoking programs.
American Lung Association (ALA)
The American Lung Association (ALA) helps smokers who want to quit through its Freedom From Smoking® self-help quit-smoking program.ALA actively supports laws and information campaigns for non-smokers' rights. It also gives public information programs about the health effects of smoking.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The CDC's Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) is the government's lead agency on smoking control. OSH funds booklets on smoking topics, such as relapse, helping a friend or family member quit smoking, the health hazards of smoking, and the effects of parental smoking on teenagers.
For additional information, please call (631) 444-4000.