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Quit Smoking to Help Prevent Heart Disease

Cigarette smoking accounts for about 440,000 deaths each year. More than 135,000 deaths are directly smoking related cardiovascular diseases. A cigarette smoker is two-to-three times more likely to die from coronary heart disease than a nonsmoker.

Don't waste any time. The health benefits start almost immediately. Within a few years of quitting, your risk of stroke and coronary artery disease are similar to non-smokers. In this article, review some suggestions to help you quit.

Think about why you want to quit
Decide for sure you want to quit
Promise yourself that you will do it
Allow yourself to have mixed feelings about quitting, but don't let that stop you
Realize there will be times every day that you WILL NOT feel like quitting, but stick with it anyway
Find reasons to quit that are important to you
Think of more than the health reasons: Calculate how much money you will save by not buying cigarettes and make a list of what else you can purchase instead. Calculate the time you spend each day taking cigarette breaks, rushing out to buy a pack, or searching for a light, and think of more constructive ways you could be using this time. Think about not suffering from being short of breath or coughing as much. Think about your children, setting a better example for them, and not exposing them to second-hand smoke. Think about all the non-smokers who will stop giving you those dirty looks each time you light up a cigarette.
Now....write down all the reasons why you want to quit
List ways to fight the urge to smoke
Keep this list where you will see it often and post it in those places. Example of good posting spots might be: Where you keep your cigarettes, in your wallet or purse, in the kitchen, in your car, on your bathroom mirror. When you start to reach for a cigarette, you will see your list and it will remind you why you want to stop. Write your list on your favorite color of paper to help remind you that is your "stop smoking" list, and not the grocery list or list of phone numbers of women you want to date.

Tips to help you manage the craving for a cigarette:

The urge to smoke will come and go
Try to wait it out
Look at the plan you made last week
Keep other things around instead of cigarettes. Try carrots, pickles, sunflower seeds, apples, celery, raisins, or sugar-free gum, grab your girlfriend or boyfriend and give them a big kiss
Wash your hands or the dishes when you want a cigarette very badly
Take a shower when you start to crave a cigarette
Learn to relax quickly by taking deep breaths:

1. take 10 slow, deep breaths and hold the last one
2. then breathe out slowly
3. relax all of your muscles
4. picture a soothing, pleasant scene
5. get away from it all for a moment
6. think only about that peaceful image and nothing else

Other things you can do are:

Light incense or a candle instead of a cigarette
A change of scenery can help, go outside, or go to a different room, or try changing what you are doing, go walk the dog or pet your dog, cuddle up with your cat
Don't ever think just one won't hurt. It will hurt. It will undo your work so far
Trying something to beat the urge is always better than trying nothing.

If you quit smoking, your heart will thank you, and everyone else around you will most likely be happier as well.

Source: American Heart Association

Disclaimer: *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information in this article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All health concerns should be addressed by a qualified health care professional.

This article is FREE to publish with the resource box.

2007 Connie Limon All Rights Reserved


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