Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States—it kills more than 400,000 Americans every year.

Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, strokes, and breathing problems.

The United States Center for Disease Control found that for every person who dies from smoking, another 20 people suffer from serious smoking-related chronic diseases.

So if you’re already a smoker, how can you quit?

What will work depends a lot on you, but here are some things you can try:

  • Keep a journal. Write down why you want to quit.  Doing so will help you know exactly why and will put you in charge of your health.
  • Cut cigarettes out completely. Smoking even a few cigarettes a day hurts your health.  If you can, try stopping completely.
  • Know it isn’t easy. Nicotine dependence is the most common form of chemical dependence in the United States.  Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t succeed the first time.  Be proud of yourself when you are able to quit!
  • Get help. Tell your friends and family you are trying to quit.  Ask them to hold you accountable.  Ask your doctor or therapist for support and advice.  To get started right away, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

Are you a federal employee? In 2011, all federal health insurance plans will offer 100% coverage to help tobacco users quit—with no copays or deductibles!

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