Tobacco is a recreational drug used in the form of smoking, chewing, or dipping, and its use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.  Tobacco use is estimated to highly increase the risk of the following life-threatening problems:

  • coronary heart disease,
  • stroke,
  • bronchitis and emphysema,
  • low bone density
  • infertility and birth defects,
  • weakening of blood circulation and main arteries in the body,
  • and lung, stomach, kidney, esophagus, oral cavity, throat, cervix, bladder, and uterus cancer.

Because nicotine, the addictive substance in tobacco products, is more addictive than even the drugs cocaine or heroin, quitting tobacco products is a hard process. However, millions of Americans have successfully quit using tobacco products and are smoke-free. If you are thinking about quitting, here are a few reasons that quitting is so beneficial to motivate you to live smoke-free:

  • Smoking is expensive, and the money you spend on tobacco products can be spent on other things that enhance your quality of life.
  • Since smoking has become socially unacceptable, you will be more comfortable around others and avoid instances in which you may not get a job, apartment, significant other, or friend because of high health insurance costs and smell.
  • Secondhand smoke causes thousands of deaths every year, so every time you smoke around one of your friends or someone you love, you are putting them at risk.
  • Your breath, hair, clothes, car, and living quarters will smell better, your teeth will get whiter, yellow fingers will disappear, and activities will no longer leave you breathless.

Quitting tobacco products can be hard. Listed below are some things you might experience as you try to quit. The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone, there are many others who struggle when quitting. Keeping a long term goal of being smoke-free is helpful when feeling symptoms of withdrawal.

  • depression,
  • irritability, frustration, and anger,
  • trouble concentrating,
  • sleep disturbances,
  • restlessness and boredom,
  • headaches,
  • tiredness,
  • sore throat and nasal drip,
  • and weight gain.

There are many resources available to you if you use tobacco products and wish to quit. Please refer to the Tobacco Cessation information listed under the left-hand navigation bar, and check out the resources listed below that give more information about tobacco cessation.

Further Reading

Tools for Quitting Smoking:

Guides to Quitting Smoking:

Help for Cravings and Tough Situations:

How to Help a Smoker Quit:

Educational Material:

Last Updated: 6/20/2012