If you’re a smoker, quitting can be one of the most important things you ever do to preserve your health. Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States, increasing your risks of lung disease, cancer and heart attacks.
As if this wasn’t already reason enough to quit, tobacco use can also have a negative effect on your wallet. The average price for a pack of cigarettes is $6.36. But that’s not all. The average health-related costs you will rack up per pack of cigarettes is $35. That’s more than $40 taken out of your pocket for every pack of cigarettes you smoke.
Your friends and family have probably urged you to quit smoking. Maybe you’ve even attempted to quit before. You’ve been smoking for so long the damage has already been done, right? Wrong. Quitting smoking has immediate and long lasting benefits. Just 20 minutes after quitting your heart and blood pressure will drop and twelve hours after quitting the carbon monoxide level in your blood will have dropped to normal. A year after quitting your risk of heart disease will be half that of a continuing smoker. After five years your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder will also be cut in half. No matter how old you are or how long you’ve been smoking, it is never too late to quit.
The first step in quitting smoking is to pick a quit date. We suggest the Great American Smoke Out, which happens every year on the third Thursday in November. Be sure to tell your friends and family about your plans to quit. They can help hold you accountable if you find yourself tempted to give in to cravings.
Once you’ve selected your quit date the next step is to find a method of quitting that works for you. Here are a few of the tools and services available to you through the Marine Corps:
- Tobacco Cessation Counseling – Individual or group tobacco cessation counseling services are available from your local Health Promotion office.
- At some installations, mint snuff is available through the Health Promotion office.
- Medications to assist with quitting may be available at your local BAS as a walk-in service.
- If you are a TRICARE beneficiary you can call the TRICARE Smoking Quitline.
Thinking about quitting? Why not try it out for 24 hours? The Great American Smokeout is happening November 21. Contact your local Health Promotion office to register for a Tobacco Cessation Counseling session today! Click here for more information.