Smoking increases your risk of heart disease, lung disease, and cancer. Smoking damages blood vessels making it more likely for the arteries to become obstructed. Smoking makes your blood thicker and as a result makes you more likely to form clots in your arteries. Smoking makes you more likely to have a heart attack, stroke, and heart failure. Smoking damages the lungs causing significant diseases like emphysema and chronic obstructive lung disease. Smoking causes a variety of cancers. Smoking is the single most important preventable cause of death in the United States. Once you have heart disease, vascular disease, lung disease, or cancer it is imperative that you find a way to quit smoking. If you have had a heart attack and continue to smoke, you are up to 5 times more likely to die than if you had quit smoking. If you have a balloon angioplasty or bypass surgery and continue to smoke, you are more likely to continue to have chest pain, more likely to need another surgery, and more likely to die, than if you had quit smoking. Once you have lung disease, you are at much great risk of infection, lung failure, and death if you continue to smoke. Smoking makes it harder for you to recover from major surgery or get over infections. You should absolutely, positively never smoke another cigarette again.
Resolve to quit smoking Decide positively that you want to quit. Committing yourself right now puts you on a path to success. Make a list of all the reasons why you want to stop. Carry these reasons with you and review them several times a day. Determine what made you smoke. Being more aware of your triggers and cues to smoking will assist you in making other choices during your cessation attempts. Tell your family and friends that you are quitting and enlist their support. Identify your rewards for quitting smoking. Begin thinking of what your life will be like as a nonsmoker. Think about how much healthier your heart and lungs will be and how much better you will feel in the long run. Throw away all of your tobacco, lighter, ashtrays, and other smoking-related products as soon as you get home. Clean your clothes, car, drapes, and furniture to rid them of the smell of smoke. Stay away from other tobacco users and other tempting situations(i.e. alcohol). Do something special that you’ve been putting off. It will helpyou associate positive feelings with quitting.
Spend more time with friends who do not smoke. Find activities that make smoking difficult (e.g. gardening, exercising, washing the car). Keep oral substitutes handy. Try carrots, sunflower seeds, sugarless gum, straws, toothpicks, or apples. Change your daily routine to break your old habits. Distract yourself from thoughts of smoking by talking to someone, reading, or doing a task. Use relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, or exercising.
Enrolling in a multi-component program offers you the best chance of quitting. Success rates are highest when smoking interventions are combined. Interventions include the following: • Physician advice • Self-help materials • Behavioral counseling • Self management techniques • Support groups • Nicotine replacement therapy • Zyban (medicine that reduces urge to smoke) • Follow-up AM I A CANDIDATE FOR NICOTINE REPLACEMENT AND/OR ZYBAN? Research supports that almost everyone can benefit from using nicotine replacement. Ask your doctor or nurse whether this is right for you. Your health care provider can help you choose the most appropriate form of nicotine replacement. Zyban (buproprian) decreases the urge to smoke and can help you quit smoking. It can be used alone or in combination with nicotine replacement. Ask your doctor whether you are a candidate for Zyban. There are potential risks with this medication, including seizure. You should never take an extra dose of Zyban and should not use it in combination with Wellbutrin. UCLA Form #10034 Rev (08/11) Page 3 of 4 Nicotine replacement and/or Zyban are often started prior to, or at the time of hospital discharge to help you not go back to smoking. Ask your doctor or nurse.
Stop smoking immediately. Get rid of all tobacco products. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Get yourself back on track as soon as possible. Realize that most people try several times before they successfully quit. Identify your triggers that led you to smoking again and learn from your past mistakes. Set a new quit date and begin again.
Disclaimer: The above list, “Where can I get additional help?” is provided as a source of information to our patients. The listed organizations, with the exception of UCLA Freedom From Smoking and UCLA Psychology Clinic, are not sponsored by, affiliated with, or under the control of The Regents of the University of California. UCLA Health, UCLA hospitals and the University assumes no responsibility for the quality or availability of any listed program or service. We are providing this information to you only as a convenience, and inclusion of any organization on this list does not indicate expressly or implied any endorsement by The Regents of the University of California.
Hospitals and health-science campuses of UCLA are now smoke-free environments. To learn more, visit UCLA Smoke Free Resource Center website.