• 39°

Quitting smoking is worth the effort

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) 70 percent of smokers want to quit. If you are among them, and your resolution was to break the nicotine addiction in 2020, we want to encourage you to keep to your resolution. It’s a hard habit to break, but it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself and your loved ones.

Some facts from the CDC prove just how bad cigarette smoking is for you:

— Nearly one in five deaths in the United States is due to smoking.

— More than 10 times as many U.S. citizens have died from smoking-related illnesses than have died in all four wars fought by the United States.

— Cigarette smoking increases the risk of death from heart disease, stroke and lung cancer.

Just this week, the American Cancer Society announced that the lung cancer death rate has dropped by 51 percent in the last decade. Yet lung cancer still accounts for more cancer deaths than breast, prostate and colorectal cancers combined. Not all lung cancer is caused by smoking, but not smoking, or giving it up, is a good place to start in preventing lung cancer. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, “Smoking cessation represents the single most important step that smokers can take to enhance the length and quality of their lives.”

It’s not easy to quit, but there are resources available. The American Cancer Society website and the CDC both offer tips and techniques to help you. Among them: build a support network, know the first few weeks are going to be the hardest as your body goes through nicotine withdrawal, ask your health care provider to recommend some of the medications approved by the FDA and have a plan in place, especially for those times when you’re most used to lighting up.

It can take many tries to quit, but it’s always worth the effort. When you get tempted, stop, take a deep breath and experience how good it feels to fill your lungs with clean air. And keep kicking butts.

— The Cullman (Alabama) Times