Time to Quit Smoking - Heart Healthy Discussion with Bronson Experts
Did you know that smoking is the most preventable cause of premature death in the United States?
According to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention, more than 42.1 million adults in the United States still smoke cigarettes.
“It is very important that if you smoke, you try to quit as early on as possible,” says vascular surgeon Sarat Vaddineni, MD, FACS, of Bronson Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Specialists. “Smokers have a higher risk of developing a number of chronic conditions which can lead to heart disease, vascular disease and stroke.”
Check out these eight tips to help you kick the habit for good.
- Do it for your health.
After you quit, you will be setting yourself up for immediate health benefits. Just after one day of no smoking, the carbon monoxide levels in your blood will return to normal.
- Reward yourself.
Outside of the numerous health benefits, you will save a lot of money. Reward yourself by spending part of it on something fun.
- Don’t go it alone.
Tell your friends, family and co-workers that you're trying to quit. Their encouragement could make the difference. You may also want to join a support group or talk to a counselor.
- Manage your stress.
One reason people smoke is that the nicotine helps them relax. Once you quit, you’ll need another way to cope with stress. Try getting regular massages or learning yoga.
- Avoid triggers.
Certain activities may boost your urge to smoke. Alcohol is one of the most common triggers, so try to drink less when you first quit.
- Get moving.
Physical activity can help reduce nicotine cravings and ease some withdrawal symptoms. Learn more about Bronson's two fitness clubs - Bronson Athletic Club in Kalamazoo and Bronson Wellness Center in South Haven.
- Eat fruits and vegetables.
It is not wise to try to diet at the same time you are trying to quit. However, try to focus on eating more fruits and vegetables. Find tips and healthy recipes on our nutrition services page.
- Don’t go cold turkey.
Going cold turkey isn’t easy. About 95 percent of people who try to stop smoking without therapy or medication end up relapsing.
*Sources: cdc.gov, webmd.com and heart.org
We can help you reach your goals.
Bronson offers the Freshstart Smoking & Tobacco Cessation Program to help tobacco users quit the habit. This program, designed by The American Cancer Society, is delivered over four separate sessions in a two-week period. This behavioral modification program assists and prepares you to quit using tobacco. It is free and open to the community.
During the month of November, the American Cancer Society hosts the Great American Smokeout event. This event is for smokers from across the nation to help them make a plan to quit. You can learn more about the event and the resources for smokers here.
Did you know?
The National Cancer Institute now recommends low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) for those who are high-risk in developing lung cancer. They found one life was saved for every 320 patients that were screened. Talk with your doctor to find out if this is right for you.
The Bronson Heart & Vascular team is committed to heart and vascular disease prevention, and sharing easy steps you can take to live a healthier life. Looking for a Bronson doctor to help you? For a complete list of providers at Bronson, visit bronsonhealth.com/find-a-doctor or call Bronson HealthAnswers at (269) 341-7723.