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Just Quit!

Wouldn't it be nice if it were just that easy to quit smoking? According to the US Surgeon General, "Smoking cessation (stop smoking) represents the single most important step that smokers can take to enhance the length and quality of their lives." It may not be easy but it is worth it. As Mark Twain said, "Quitting smoking is easy. I've done it a thousand times." To understand this you have to understand what it is that you are trying to quit. It isn't just the habit of lighting up and smoking, it is the habit of taking nicotine into your system. There is help to be found to help you quit and it can be found at just about any Illinois hospital. Do a little research and ask your doctor where they recommend you go for help.

Nicotine is a drug found in tobacco. It is extremely addictive and can be as addictive as heroin or cocaine. Although a person becomes physically addicted to the nicotine they also become emotionally addicted or dependent on it. To quit smoking a person must deal with both the physical and the psychological dependence in order first to quit and second to never smoke again. The medical community has studied where nicotine goes when you smoke. It is first carried deep into the lungs and dispersed throughout the body in the bloodstream. It affects many parts of the body including your hormonal system, your metabolism, your brain and your heart and bloodstream. Nicotine can be found in breast milk and freely crosses the placenta during pregnancy and has been found in the umbilical cord blood of newborn infants. It can be in your system for three to four days after you have quit smoking. Nicotine is a never ending cycle because as you take it in, it produces good feelings and acts as a depressant by impeding the flow of information between nerve cells. As you adapt to that level of nicotine, you want more and that increases the amount of nicotine and that impedes the flow and you want more. It goes on and on. You will smoke until you get a level that is conducive to your physical craving. When inhaled in cigarette smoke, nicotine actually gets to the brain faster than drugs get to the brain when they enter the body intravenously.

Like everywhere in the nation, Illinois healthcare is concerned for your health and the cost that smoking adds to the bottom line of healthcare. Any of the top 10 hospitals in Illinois can help you kick the habit. The reasons to quit are significant. The statistics say that about half of all smokers will end up dying from a smoke-related illness. These include cancer, lung diseases, heart attacks, strokes and blood vessel diseases to name a few. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that adult male smokers gave up an average of 13.2 years of life and female smokers gave up 14.5 years of life due to smoking. The other problem is even if it doesn't kill you it can steal your quality of life prior to death.


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