I Have to Quit for My Health

Act now! Changes in the design and make of cigarettes have increased the amount of nicotine and cancer-causing chemicals smokers receive, making cigarettes more deadly than ever before. The good news is that your health will start to improve immediately after your quit date. Within a day your heart rate and blood pressure drop, and the carbon monoxide levels in your blood return to normal. Food will taste better and your sense of smell will return to normal. You may even notice your blemishes start to clear because quitting improves skin tone and protects from premature aging and wrinkling. It can also lower your chances of erectile dysfunction and improve your sexual life. In the long term, quitting smoking will give you a lowered risk for lung cancer and many other types of cancer, reduced risk for coronary heart disease and stroke, and reduced respiratory symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. But we know this is easier said than done. Luckily, health insurance plans will often help pay for the cost of quit-smoking counseling and FDA-approved quit-smoking medicines like Chantix or Zyban. Tobacco cessation programs are also very effective resources to help smokers quit. The Massachusetts Smokers’ Helpline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) has tobacco treatment specialists that work with people over the phone to get them the support and resources they need. Tobacco treatment specialists work with you at your own pace. So even if you’re not ready to call it quits today, call the Massachusetts Smokers’ Helpline and you and a quit coach can make a strategy together.