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This post is sponsored by CVS MinuteClinic. Please note that, as always, any personal opinions reflected in this post are my own and have not been influenced in any way.
I used to smoke. I started smoking at the age of 15, behind my parents back. I quit about ten years ago when I thought I was having a heart attack. Fortunately, I was not having a heart attack. My scare was a wake-up call for me. I have never wanted a cigarette since quitting that day and have never missed it.
For several months before quitting I was insisting to anyone that smoked that would listen that my cigarettes tasted stale. Others would try them and say they were fine. What I didn’t realize then is that what was happening was my body’s way of sending me signals that it had had enough of smoking and that it was ready to give it up. I didn’t see the signals. I believe that one thing has to happen in order for a person to successfully quit smoking. They have to acknowledge that smoking isn’t healthy and they have to want to quit smoking. Once a person knows and understands those things they can start their journey to becoming smoke-free.
Here’s three facts (courtesy CVS) that you may or may not know about smoking that show just how detrimental to your health it can be.
- Cigarette smoking is the number one cause of preventable disease and death worldwide.
- Smoking causes about 1 of every 5 deaths in the United States each year.
- On average, adults who smoke cigarettes die 14 years earlier than nonsmokers.
One of the main reasons that people go to CVS is for products to help them feel well. CVS recognizes how unhealthy smoking is, which is why they recently removed all tobacco products from their stores.
I know quitting the way I did and never missing smoking puts me in the minority. I know plenty of people that either quit smoking or tried to quit smoking. It’s a struggle. Even though people know it isn’t a healthy thing to do they keep on doing it. Studies show that smokers assisted by a health care provider have a greater chance of quitting smoking. It’s with that in mind that CVS created their Start to Stop® smoking cessation program, now available at CVS MinuteClinic. The program is designed to help adults over the age of 18 quit smoking.
The program includes:
- 1-on-1 consultation with a practitioner, including a nicotine-dependence assessment
- Individualized smoking cessation plan and education based on your needsand goals
- Ongoing coaching and support in your efforts to quit smoking
- Nicotine-replacement recommendations or prescriptions written when clinically appropriate
- A visit summary sent to your primary care provider with your permission
As is the case with most difficult journeys, it’s not uncommon for a person to need a little help. Help comes in many forms. A good place to start if you know you need some help is the Smoking Cessation Program at CVS MinuteClinic. Take advantage of the education and coaching they can offer. They can also help you determine what, if any, smoking cessation products would be most helpful to you. Another place you can get support is from family and friends. While I believe quitting smoking must be a personal decision you do for yourself in order for it to work, I also believe that any family that wants to see you healthy will help you in any way they can.
Three interesting facts about what happens after you quit smoking.
- After 24 hours, your risk of heart attack begins to decrease.
- After one year, your risk of heart disease decreases to half that of a current smoker.
- After 5 to 15 years, your risk of stroke is the same as a person who never smoked.
Quitting smoking made a big difference in my life. Aside from the obvious health benefits, I found that things smelled and tasted so much better. Plus, I saved a ton of money! Cigarettes were $2-$4 during the years I smoked. Now they’re like $8-$10 depending on where you live. So expensive! Think of all of the other things that could be done with that money!
Have you or someone you love ever quit smoking? Do you have any tips to share? Or, if you’ve thought about quitting smoking, do you have any questions I might be able to answer for you?