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How To Quit Smoking

You might want to quit smoking to set a good example for your children.

You might want to save money. Or keep your home, clothes, car—and breath—smoke-free.

There are many good reasons to “kick the habit.”

The best reason of all? Better health for your entire body, not just your lungs.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that you reduce your risk of developing several cancers when you quit smoking.

These cancers include:

  • acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
  • bladder
  • cervix
  • colon and rectum
  • esophagus
  • kidney
  • liver
  • lung
  • mouth
  • pancreas
  • stomach
  • throat
  • voice box (larynx)

If you’re pregnant, the best time to stop smoking is today.

It can be very hard—but it’s one of the most important things you can do to help your baby to be healthy, before and after they’re born.

Take it one step at a time.

Carelon Behavioral Health offers this handy tip: Just remember the word “START.”

Give yourself another week or so to smoke, but no more than two weeks. Circle your quit date on your calendar or put reminders in your phone. It’s official: Soon, you are going to be smoke-free!

Let your family, friends and others know. Include coworkers, neighbors, and anyone who will encourage you. Ask them to help you to keep going when the cravings hit, especially during the first few weeks.

Tell them what to say to you so they don’t accidentally “say the wrong thing.” Others want to help you. Let them help!

Plan ahead for withdrawal, bad moods, and strong urges to smoke.

Remember, the first 12 weeks are the hardest. Certain times of day will be especially tough. Eating meals, watching TV, waiting for the bus, driving home from work—all of these can be triggers for having a cigarette. Plan ahead for ways to keep yourself from lighting up.

Get tobacco products out of your house, car, purse, locker, and desk. Same goes for ashtrays, lighters, and anything else that you reach for when smoking.

Did you know there is medication to help you quit smoking? If you take this medication and work with a health counselor, you have a high chance of success.

Talk to your doctor about quitting before you stop. You need to start certain medications while you are still smoking.

Follow these steps even if you start smoking again. Many people have to “start quitting” a second or third time.

Don’t give up. It’s hard to stop smoking, but it’s worth it.

Carelon Behavioral Health is here to help you with behavioral health treatment for depression, anxiety, marriage and family problems, or alcohol and drug abuse. You do not need approval for individual, family or group therapy. Also, you do not need a referral from your regular doctor. English/Spanish interpreter services available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Another great resource to help you as you begin your quitting journey can be found here

For emergencies, call 9-1-1.

HEALTHfirst Medicaid STAR 1-800-945-4644

KIDSfirst CHIP 1-800-945-4644

KIDSfirst CHIP Perinate 1-888-814-2352