LEARN It! Challenge 6, Topic 6
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Tobacco use

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Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do for your health.

Even if you have already quit or never were a smoker, exposure to any tobacco products can contribute to high blood pressure and many other serious health conditions. 

It's never too late to quit smoking. Positive changes to several of the body's systems and functions, including blood pressure, can improve within days of quitting.  Risk of disease, including coronary heart disease, lowers significantly within the first few years of quitting as well. 

There are lots of ways to approach tobacco cessation. There are several strategies you can try to quit tobacco, or you can enlist the help of your doctor or local resources for guidance. 

5 Steps to Quitting Smoking

The American Heart Association outlines five steps to guide your quitting journey. Remember that you can modify this approach to best fit your needs. 

Set a Quit Date. Tell everyone close to you about this date. JC Blair's Freedom from Smoking course lets participants choose a Quit Date up to three weeks in advance. 

Choose a method. You can stop smoking all at once on your Quit Day or gradually lower your tobacco consumption until you do not consume tobacco at all. This reduction can be done with number of cigarettes or number of puffs for smokers and can be modified for smokeless tobacco users.

Determine other resources you might need to help quit. Your doctor should be your primary ally in your quitting process, but other resources might help make your quit more even more effective. Freedom from Smoking Classes  are offered at J.C Blair offered regularly and offer 4 weeks of FREE nicotine gum, lozenges, and patches for registered participants. Call 814-643-8880 to register or for more information. 

Plan for your Quit Day. Get everything ready for the big day: throw out all cigarettes, matches/lighters, ashtrays, or any other paraphernalia from your house or any place you are often. Make sure you have your nicotine substitutes or any other tools you will need to make your Quit Day successful. 

Stop smoking on your planned Quit Day! 

SOURCE: "How can I quit smoking?" American Heart Association. 2015.