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Improve Your Health By Quitting Smoking Or Vaping

May 09, 2024
You’re never too young or too old to stop smoking or vaping. If you’ve tried before without success, you’re not alone. Nicotine, the drug in regular cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and e-cigarettes, is highly addictive. 
 
According to the American Lung Association smoking and vaping expose you to a harmful mix of chemicals with every puff. These chemicals affect your behavior, memory, and emotions. Smoking is also known to cause cancer, heart disease, and lung problems — leading to 1 in 5 deaths in the United States every year.
 
When you decide it’s time to quit, here are a few tips to help you reach your smoking cessation goal.
 

Be Ready For The Cravings

 

Cravings start when your body wants nicotine. Typically, cravings pass after 5 or 10 minutes so if you can find ways to manage nicotine withdrawal, you’re on the right path.
 
6 Ways To Handle Cravings:
 
  1. Get moving. Take a brisk 10-minute walk, jog in place, or do other physical activities like push-ups or jumping jacks.
  2. Spend time in places where you can’t smoke or vape. Go to the movies, browse the mall, or explore a museum.
  3. Change your routine. If you typically smoke or vape after a meal, go outside for a stretch or a stroll, try deep-breathing exercises, or brush your teeth. By changing your habits, you’re less likely to feel something is missing.
  4. Give yourself a “wait” time. If you feel like you are about to give in, wait at least 10 minutes. This is often enough time to move past the craving.
  5. Stay strong. Remember, there is no such thing as just one cigarette or puff. 
  6. Reward yourself for doing your best. Save the money you would have spent on cigarettes or vaping cartridges and treat yourself to something special. 
 

Focus On The Benefits

 

The health benefits of quitting tobacco are nearly immediate, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even after just one week, your blood pressure drops, the carbon monoxide level in your blood returns to normal, and most nicotine has left your body. 

Quitting smoking: 
  • Improves your immune system, which means you get sick less often. 
  • Reduces your risk of cancer and heart disease.
  • Enhances your quality of life with less shortness of breath and coughing.
  • Adds up to 10 years to your life. 
  • Puts more money in your pocket, saving you an average of $3,500 a year.
 

Find The Right Support

 

Counseling: Nicotine Anonymous offers support by phone or text, online, and in person. Smokefree.gov provides plans for how to quit, free apps, and support through text messaging or live chat. 

Medication: Nicotine replacement therapy gives you nicotine through gums, patches, sprays, lozenges, or inhalers, without the other chemicals in cigarettes and vaping cartridges. This can help break the habit of smoking before going through physical withdrawal.
 
Your health plan may also offer a smoking or tobacco cessation program. If you have an Anthem health plan, check your benefits on the SydneySM Health app  or anthembluecross.com, or call the Member Services number on your health plan ID card to learn more about your options. 
 
 
Sydney Health is offered through an arrangement with Carelon Digital Platforms, a separate company offering mobile application services on behalf of your health plan.