~ Amy Cleck, CRNP
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States, killing more than 480,000 Americans each year. Smoking causes immediate damage to your body, which can lead to long-term health problems. For every smoking-related death, at least 30 Americans live with a smoking-related illness.
Smoking is a known significant factor to developing COPD, coronary artery disease, strokes, and many cancers. If you don’t smoke, don’t start! But if you do smoke, don’t despair! Quitting at any time in your life can be beneficial to your overall health. Look at the statements below per The US Department of Health and Human Services:
• Quitting smoking cuts cardiovascular risks. Just 1 year after quitting smoking, your risk for a heart attack drops sharply.
• Within 2 to 5 years after quitting smoking, your risk for stroke could fall to about the same as a nonsmoker’s.
• If you quit smoking, your risks for cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder drop by half within 5 years.
• Ten years after you quit smoking, your risk for lung cancer drops by half.
Quitting cold turkey is an option, but certainly not an easy or guaranteed way to succeed. There are several different aides to help with your goal to stop smoking. Nicotine gum, patches, and inhalers as well as prescription medications such as bupropion (Zyban) and Varenicline (Chantix) may be helpful in helping you stop smoking for good.
NOW is the perfect time to quit! Feel free to discuss smoking cessation with your providers at Andrews and Patel Associates.