It’s no secret. Everyone knows that smoking kills. Yet, more than 35 million people in the U.S. smoke. Why? Why do so many people pick up and maintain a habit that’s estimated to take a whole decade off of a person’s life?

Whatever the reason for starting, most often, the reason for continuing is fear of how hard it is to stop. If you are a smoker, is that your fear? Have you tried to kick this bad habit before unsuccessfully? One more question: Is the struggle to quit more important than the reasons to you need to?

Why Quit Smoking?

For Yourself.

This is the most obvious reason. Out of the 16 million Americans with smoking-related diseases, it’s safe to say that you don’t want to be one of them. No one wants to be ill, especially not with life-threatening conditions such as throat and lung cancer.

In addition to potential health problems, there are money problems. Smoking is not a cheap habit; the cost adds up over time. Especially during difficult economic times, you want every penny you spend to be worthwhile. Cigarettes are the opposite. They cost you both now and in the long run when you pay the price with your life.

The benefits to you are never-ending. You will appear healthier, your senses will be heightened, you’ll no longer have anxiety about when your opportunity to smoke will come and so on.

For Others.

Secondhand smoke can be just as harmful to a person as smoking themselves. Therefore, you may choose to quit out of respect for the lives of those around you. This habit doesn’t only affect you. The people around you — whether friends, family or just people you cross paths with in everyday life — have chosen not to poison their bodies. Why should you get to make a conflicting choice for them?

Too, there are undoubtedly people that care about you and want you to kick cigarettes for you. If smoking were to be a contributor to your untimely demise, imagine how hurt your family and friends might feel? After all, it was in your control to prevent such a sad outcome.

How to Quit

Nicotine Replacement Therapy. Many are able to quit with the help of nicotine patches, gum, inhalers and even nasal sprays. These products deliver small doses of nicotine. As a person gradually decreases the dosage, the strength of the urge to smoke slowly subsides.

Herbal Products. Nicotine replacements have been known to become addictive for some. If this is a concern, there are herbal products available which act in the same way without that risk. They also provide some reprieve from the onslaught of withdrawal symptoms.

Prescription Medications.Perhaps if you’ve tried other methods to no avail, your doctor will be willing to prescribe a medication such as Chantix. These prescription meds aim to rewire or reprogram the parts of the brain that have become dependent on tobacco.
Manual Reduction.Instead of taking medications and such, a person might choose to cut down gradually on their own. With a plan in place and a ‘quit date’ in mind, a committed individual can stop smoking successfully.

Will You Try to Quit?

There are many other ways to achieve the ultimate goal of living a tobacco-free life. No matter how you wish to go about it, though, it still starts with one step. Why not take that step on the third Thursday of November, which is the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout event?

Can you plan ahead to quit just for that one day? If you make the effort to do so, you’ll be equipping yourself with the skills to perhaps extend to two days or three or more! Before you know it, with the help of those around you and for those around you, you could be smoke-free.