Sponsor Content

Extinguish the Smoking Habit for Good

Quitting smoking isn’t easy, but it’s certainly worth it. According to the American Cancer Society, half of all smokers who continue will end up dying from a smoking-related illness. In the United States alone, smoking is responsible for nearly one in five deaths. The good news is it’s never too late to turn things around. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that within just twenty minutes of quitting your heart rate and blood pressure will drop back to normal levels. In three months, your heart and lungs will begin to repair so that coughing and shortness of breath decrease. And within a year, heart disease risk is cut in half.

Increase your odds of quitting by first talking to your doctor — advice from a physician will more than double your chances of success of quitting, says the CDC. Be sure to utilize coping skills when dealing with cravings, such as taking a walk, mediation, or having a friend or family member on speed-dial. Support groups can also be key in terms of both encouragement and accountability. For information about local cessation meetings or support groups visit smokefreephilly.org. Lastly, a “quit coach” can help you evaluate why you smoke (i.e. stress, certain settings), identify ways to limit those triggers, and create a personalized plan with attainable goals.

The longer you go without smoking the more the urges will fade. Be sure to reward yourself for milestones whether it’s conquering a single craving or making it to a monthly anniversary. Don’t think of this journey as having an “all or none” success rate. In other words, if you do slip and have a cigarette, don’t feel that you’ve failed. In fact, a positive attitude is your biggest weapon in a successful long-term cessation.

Pennsylvania residents can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free counseling sessions and FDA-approved nicotine replacement products. Also check out smokefree.gov, local hospitals and your health insurance company or employer for even more resources.

Find more information on how Independence Blue Cross can be a part of your plan for health and wellness.

Sponsor content is created for IBX by Philadelphia magazine as a marketing collaboration with IBX. This material is intended for reference and information only and should not be used in place of advice from a doctor or suitable qualified healthcare professional.