New Year’s Resolution: Quit Smoking

The new year is here and you may still be considering what your new year’s resolution will be. If you’re one of the nearly 7 in 10 U.S. smokers who wants to quit (CDC), make a resolution to get started.

Smoking leads to disease and disability and harms nearly every organ of the body. Smoking is also the leading cause of preventable death (CDC). In just as few as 20 minutes of quitting smoking, you can start to feel the benefits. What happens when you quit:

  • Your heart rate and blood pressure begin to drop back to normal.
  • Nicotine withdrawal symptoms begin to start about two hours after your last cigarette. Symptoms can include intense cravings, anxiety, tension, drowsiness, trouble sleeping, increased appetite.
  • 12 hours after quitting, your oxygen levels begin to normalize.
  • One full day after quitting, your risk for coronary artery disease begins to reduce.
  • 14 hours after, smell and taste improve.
  • Three days after quitting, the nicotine is out of the body.
  • Two weeks after quitting marks the end of withdrawal symptoms for most smokers. Your withdrawal symptoms will go away completely within nine months of quitting.

Quitting is hard, and you may fail several times before you succeed, but there are steps you can take to make quitting easier.

  • Pick a quit date. Start the new year smoke free.
  • Let those around you know you are quitting so they can offer support.
  • Make a list of reasons you need to quit smoking.
  • Figure out what your triggers are and avoid them.
  • Have places to turn to when you need help.
    • 1-800-QUIT-NOW(1-800-784-8669) or 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569) (for Spanish speakers). This free service offers a lot of resources, including coaching, help with making a quit plan, educational materials, and referrals to other resources where you live.
    • Online Resources: smokefree.gov

Whatever your reason is for wanting to quit, there is help out there. Take advantage of the support you have around you or reach out to one of the sources above for support. LRADAC wishes you a wonderful and healthy new year.

LRADAC is the designated alcohol abuse and drug abuse authority for Lexington and Richland Counties of South Carolina. The public, not-for-profit agency offers a wide array of prevention, intervention and treatment programs in locations convenient to residents of both counties. The agency has a budget of approximately $10 million and serves more than 5,000 clients per year.