If you use tobacco, there are compelling reasons for you to quit. The rewards of quitting are tremendous, and they begin immediately. You’ll experience the benefits of not using tobacco within 20 minutes of quitting, and as your tobacco-free days accumulate, the benefits will accumulate, too. Quitting tobacco will improve your health, your finances, your self-esteem and your everyday life – immediately and over the long term – in ways you may never have imagined.
Take the next step. You’ll find more information in these pages about
quitting tobacco that will help you, a friend, or family member be tobacco-free for good.
Millions of Americans experience health problems caused by smoking. Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and diminishes overall health. It causes heart disease, stroke, lung diseases like chronic bronchitis and emphysema, osteoporosis, and cataracts.
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke cause an estimated average of 438,000 premature deaths each year in the United States. Of these premature deaths:
Smoking changes the brain. According to recent research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, nicotine addiction caused by smoking produces long-lasting chemical changes in the brain similar to changes that take place when someone uses drugs like heroine or cocaine – more evidence of the addictive, destructive nature of nicotine.
It’s not too late to reverse the effects of smoking. An overwhelming amount of damage to your health can be reversed by quitting. Studies have shown that quitting at around age 30 reduces the chance of dying from smoking-related diseases by more than 90%. If you quit at around age 50, you reduce the risk of dying prematurely by 50% compared with those who continue to smoke. Even those who quit at around age 60 or older live longer than those who continue to smoke.
Not only that but you’ll experience immediate health benefits from being a nonsmoker – as quickly as 20 minutes after you quit.
Explore the facts about the dangers of nicotine and tar and the effects of smoking on your body by viewing our Tobacco & Health page.
Smoking is expensive. In fact, the amount of money you spend on smoking may surprise you.
If you’re a one-pack-per-day smoker, you’ll probably save over $15,000. Ask yourself what you would rather do with that much money!
There are other financial benefits, too. You’ll pay less for health and life insurance. You’ll incur fewer costs due to tobacco-related problems, medical bills, and frequent trips to the doctor.
If you quit smoking, you will also decrease the chance of fatal fires and serious burns. And because you aren’t making late-night trips to the store for cigarettes, you’ll gain more freedom and time – the cost of which can be immeasurable.
The cosmetic benefits of quitting smoking can be a major motivator, especially when you consider the unpleasant short- and long-term effects smoking has on how you look.
When you quit smoking:
Because your skin and teeth will look better, you may start to look younger. A study from the University of Zurich even found a correlation between gray hair and being a smoker – chemicals may damage cells in hair follicles or constrict the blood vessels that supply them. They can also constrict blood vessels in the face, leading to a yellow pallor and a breakdown in elasticity – and that can happen in the 20s in the same way it happens to someone in their 30s.
The good news is, quitting can start to reverse the signs of an aging face within two weeks.
For those especially vulnerable to the health effects of smoking, the reasons to quit escalate.
Find out more about the effects of smoking on Special Populations.
Maine Tobacco HelpLine – Supportive, confidential, free phone support for those thinking about quitting or who want to quit using tobacco.
Quitting Smoking: Why To Quit and How To Get Help – From the National Cancer Institute – health problems caused by smoking, immediate and long-term benefits of quitting smoking, and other common questions associated with smoking, health, treatment medications, and how to quit.
Smoking Cessation Health Center – Get strategies and skills for quitting, and plan your quit strategy by using the U.S. Surgeon General’s five keys for quitting.
Helping a Smoker Quit: Do’s and Don’ts – Don’t feel helpless – The American Cancer Society provides tips for friends and family to helped loved ones through the process of quitting.
Tobacco Information and Prevention Source – Get information about the health effects of tobacco and resources to quit.
National Institute on Drug Abuse – Educational resources, information and research for youth, parents, teachers, and providers about drugs, drug abuse, and drug abuse-related issues.
Nicotine Addiction – Addiction research and facts about the dangers of nicotine from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
NIDA InfoFacts: Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products – Health hazards, treatment, and research about nicotine addiction and tobacco use.
American Lung Association – Answers to questions about quitting, what happens to the body when you quit, and practical solutions to help you quit.
My Last Dip - A web-based Smokeless Tobacco Cessation Project.