Tobacco Cessation

St. Peter’s Medical Group is a leader in creating a healthy community, and its facilities are tobacco–free. Family physicians and internists are available to help patients stop tobacco use, and a Quit for Life tobacco cessation class is regularly offered by the Hospital for the community.

The Facts About Tobacco Use

  • Smoking is a significant factor in the top causes of death.
  • Smoking causes and contributes to heart disease, cancer, stroke, and lung disease.
  • Patients who smoke regularly before surgery have twice the risk of wound infection as non–smokers.
  • Smoking slows wound healing and takes broken bones almost twice as long to heal as a non–smoker’s.
  • Smoking costs the United States approximately $150 billion each year in healthcare dollars and lost productivity.
  • More than 430,000 people die prematurely each year from smoking–related diseases

How to Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking can be a very difficult task. However, the positive impacts of doing so are both immediate and long–term. The list below provides resources and support for ending dependence on tobacco.

Quit Tips from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention

  1. Don’t smoke any number of or any kind of cigarette. Smoking even a few cigarettes a day is harmful. If you try to smoke fewer cigarettes but do not stop completely, you will soon be smoking the same amount again. Smoking “low–tar” or “low–nicotine” cigarettes usually does little good. Nicotine is so addictive that switching to lower–nicotine brands will likely just cause you to puff harder, longer, and more often on each cigarette. The only safe choice is to quit completely. 

2.  Write down why you want to quit. Do you want to

  • feel in control of your life?
  • have better health?
  • set a good example for your children?
  • protect you family from breathing other people's smoke?

Wanting to quit is critical to your ability to succeed. Smokers who live after a heart attack are the most likely to quit for good—they're very motivated. Find a reason for quitting before you have no choice. 

3.  Know that it will take effort to quit smoking. Nicotine is habit–forming. When it comes to quitting, half of the battle is knowing you need to quit. This knowledge will help you deal with withdrawal symptoms, such as bad moods and that overwhelming urge to smoke.

There are many ways smokers quit, including nicotine–replacement products (such as gum and patches). Nearly all smokers have some feelings of nicotine withdrawal when they try to quit. Give yourself a month to get over these feelings. Take quitting one day at a time, even one minute at a time—whatever you need to succeed. 

4. Never be afraid to ask for help and use resources available to you. Many groups offer written materials, programs, and advice to help smokers quit for good.

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