You Can Quit. Help for Smokers & Tobacco Users - CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System

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You Can Quit. Help for Smokers & Tobacco Users

NICOTINE: A Powerful Addiction

Cigarettes contain at least 43 distinct cancer-causing chemicals. Smoking is directly responsible for 87% of lung cancer cases and causes most cases of emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Smoking is also a major factor in coronary heart disease and stroke; may be causally related to malignancies in other parts of the body; and has been linked to a variety of other conditions and disorders, including slowed healing of wounds, infertility and peptic ulcer disease.

If you have tried to quit tobacco use, you know how hard it can be. Nicotine is a very addictive drug. Within seconds, nicotine travels to the brain and tells it to release chemicals that make you want to smoke even more.

Most people try two or three times or more before finally quitting tobacco use. Studies have shown that each time you try to quit you will be stronger and will know more about what helps and hinders your efforts.

Anyone can stop tobacco use regardless of age, health or lifestyle. The decision to quit and your ultimate success are greatly influenced by how much you want to stop.

What are the options?

Methods of controlling your addiction fall into the following two categories:

  • Pharmacological approaches currently include two general strategies, nicotine replacement and medication. These methods are available at your local pharmacy.
  • Behavioral approaches range from very brief interventions to extensive programs conducted by specialized counselors.

Quitting tobacco use is regarded as a health-maintenance activity; therefore, your doctor will inform you of the intervention most appropriate for you. For more information, please consult your physician, health care provider or call TeleCARE at (903) 531-5678 or (800) 535-9799.

Effects of Quitting Smoking

20 minutes

  • Blood pressure drops to a level close to that before you had your last cigarette.
  • The temperature of your hands and feet increases to normal.

8 hours

  • Carbon monoxide level in the blood drops to normal.

24 hours

  • Your chance of a heart attack decreases.

2 weeks to 3 months

  • Circulation improves.
  • Your lung function increases up to 30%.

1 to 9 months

  • Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath decrease.
  • Cilia regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce infection.

1 year

  • Your chance of having a heart attack is cut in half.

5 years

  • Stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker’s five to 15 years after quitting.

10 years

  • Your risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a continuing smoker’s.
  • Your risks of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decrease.

15 years

  • Your risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker.

Nicotine Anonymous

Nicotine Anonymous is a 12-step support program designed to help you quit smoking. This program is free to anyone with the desire to kick the nicotine habit. For more information, call (903) 894-7808.

Where: Salvation Army • 633 N. Broadway Ave., Tyler
When: Mondays, 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Other Resources

American Heart Association: (800) 242-8721
American Lung Association: (800) LUNG-USA
Texas Department of State Health Services Texas Quit Line (877) 747-9528

For information and a free Stop Smoking Kit, call the American Cancer Society at (800) ACS-2345.

*Free counseling services, multi-lingual services available.

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