“I’m a Quitter”
You’ve decided it’s time to say #imaquitter. Now what? Maybe this isn’t your first time. Maybe you’ve tried this before and it didn’t go according to plan. No matter where you are in your journey, this mini-guide will help you take one step closer to your tobacco-free life.
Kimberly has a long history of smoking, but now she proudly says #imaquitter. As a mother and grandmother living in the Fredericksburg, Virginia region, Kimberly values her health, her family, and her future more than anything. After nearly a decade tobacco-free, she hopes her message will encourage others to say #imaquitter too.
“After smoking for over 26 years I decided to finally quit. I made this difficult decision after my first grandchild came to me and asked when I would be getting a hole in my throat. (After he had seen a cancer commercial in TV where they mention smoking.) I set a date of April 11th to quit. I knew I had to do it and stick with it. So April 11th came and I QUIT. Cold turkey. It wasn’t easy. I had to do it for ME, for my kids and for my grandson. I stuck with it and while it took some time to get past withdrawals it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I’ve never looked back. April 11, 2019, I’ve been tobacco free for 8 years and it’s an amazing feeling.”
Long-term effects of tobacco use
The statistics on smoking are staggering. This time you’re ready to count yourself out.
Each year, thousands of Americans lose their lives from smoking. It’s the #1 cause of preventable death and disease in the U.S. The numbers reveal just how harmful the effects of tobacco can have on the body.
- 480,000 smoking-related deaths each year.
- 14,400,000 Americans live with a smoking-related illness.
Smoking has a negative impact on nearly every organ of the body. It can lead to fertility issues, birth defects, and several types of cancer. One in three cancer deaths in the U.S. occurs as a result of smoking. Cancers caused by smoking include (but are not limited to): bladder, bloodstream, cervix, colon, rectum, esophagus, kidney, ureter, larynx, liver, oropharynx, pancreas, stomach, trachea, bronchus and lung.
Health Benefits of Quitting
Quitting could be the most important thing you’ll ever do for your health. Non-smokers live an average of 10 years longer than smokers. What could you do with an extra decade? What’s another ten 10 years worth to you? Quitting smoking isn’t easy, but you know it’s worth it – and you’re determined, now more than ever. Once you quit, your body will begin to feel the positive effects right away.
Here are just a few of the many reasons for #celebratingquitters:
- Year 1: Just one year after quitting, the risk for heart attack drops dramatically.
- Years 2-5: Just two to five years after quitting, the risk for stroke can match a non-smoker’s.
- Year 5: Risk of mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder cancers are cut in half.
- Years 10+: Risk of lung cancer is cut in half.
Quit tips for your quitting journey.
You’ve already decided to quit smoking and that is a huge step. Now what? Quitting is different for everyone, but there are some common tips and tricks that can help.
10 Quit tips to get started:
- Set a date and make a plan. Give yourself some time to prepare and build the motivation and resolve to quit.
- Make yourself accountable. Tell your family and friends your plan to quit and ask for their support.
- Schedule an appointment with your doctor. Nicotine therapy can be prescribed by your doctor to support your quit goal.
- Identify your triggers. Knowing your pitfalls and finding ways to avoid them can be beneficial.
- Wash away the scent of cigarettes. Clean your car, carpets, sheets, and clothes in advance.
- Have gum, mints, and healthy snacks on hand to help combat cravings.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and avoid caffeinated, sugary, and alcoholic beverages in the beginning.
- Use fidgets. Keeping your hands busy with a fidget toy or even a toothpick, straw, or cinnamon stick can serve as a distraction.
- Exercise regularly. Exercising will help in many ways, including sweating out the toxins.
- Avoid common smoking locations. Eventually, you’ll be able to return to the places where smoking is common.
Quit Now Virginia
Since 2005, Quit Now Virginia has provided free information and coaching to all Virginia residents ages 13+ who want to quit smoking. Quit Now Virginia offers counseling by trained Quit Coaches to go hand-in-hand with the medical care provided by physicians. Using a combination of coaching and nicotine replacement therapy, you’ll have the best chance of quitting successfully.
- Available 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week
- Qualified Quit Coaches
- One-on-one cessation assistance
- TTY service available for the hearing impaired
- Counseling available in English and Spanish
- Tailored services for pregnant women
- Information and self-help materials are available
- Free and confidential
Call 24/7: 1-800-QUIT-NOW / 1-800-784-8669
1-855-DEJELO-YA /1-855-335-3569 –Spanish
TTY Line 1-877-777-6534 – For Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community
Schedule your Lung Scan today.
At Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg, we help our patients discover the difference prevention can make. We offer the most convenient care at the highest quality services for the greatest value in the region. For more information about preventative health scans or to find out which scans may be right for you, call (540) 741-XRAY (9729).