Ministry Health Care believes the choices you make each day directly impact the quality of your health.
You've already taken that first step to improve your health by seeking information to help you - or someone you love - stop smoking.
Ministry Health Care is committed to being your partner in helping you achieve a healthy lifestyle. Our hospitals and clinics can provide you with health care services, programs, and activities to encourage healthy living.
Smoking costs Americans an estimated $57 billion annually in medical care. This includes the effects of smoking during pregnancy, lost workdays, lost output from early death and retirement, and fires caused by smoking (2003 Heart and Stroke Statistical Update, American Heart Association). That amount doesn't even include the dollars consumers spend on the cigarettes themselves.
More important is the direct, adverse effect first- and second-hand smoke has on personal health:
- In 2000, more than 7,300 people died from smoking-related illnesses in Wisconsin with approximately 96,000 years were lost from the potential life span of those who died of smoking-related illnesses. (The Burden of Tobacco in Wis, April 2002).
- About 117,000 Wisconsin teens now under age 18 will die of tobacco-related illnesses.
- If you smoke one pack of cigarettes per day, you are more than twice as likely to have a heart attack. You are also five times as likely to die suddenly from a heart attack. (American Heart Association 2002)
- If you have diabetes, smoking doubles the risk for cardiovascular disease. (CDC)
- More than 2,200 teens become regular smokers each and every day. (American Cancer Society, 2002)
- Second-hand smoke fills the air with poisons such as cyanide, formaldehyde, methanol, and acetylene. (American Cancer Society, 2002)
Good News if You Quit
If you make a commitment to quit smoking and stick with your plan, there is good news:
According to the World Health Organization, 1 year after quitting, coronary heart disease decreases by 50 percent, and within 15 years, the relative risk of dying from coronary heart disease for an ex-smoker approaches that of a long-time (lifetime) nonsmoker.
Quitting smoking is a major lifestyle change - impacting both physical and psychological dependencies. Although the nicotine withdrawal can be accomplished, many soon-to-be nonsmokers struggle with personal, emotional, and societal issues of smoking. Simply put, they miss the experience and the sensations associated with smoking. Those factors contribute to smokers having to try repeatedly to quit.
Although you should consult your physician to determine the method best suited for smoking cessation, you should evaluate:
- How many cigarettes you smoke in a day
- What time of day are they smoked
- What triggers the smoking
- How you feel when you smoke
- How you feel when you don't smoke
- Limitations smoking places on your life
Smoking cessation methods may include:
- Support groups: to feel a sense of community, learn from shared experiences, and support each other's objectives.
- Prescription drugs: to ease nicotine dependency and withdrawal.
- Over-the-counter medications: to ease nicotine dependency and withdrawal.
- Counseling: to address the "trigger" issues, which may include but not be limited to stress, feelings of boredom, etc.
You may also want to read our brochure about Quitting Smoking. Please contact your Ministry Health Care physician group or hospitals for more information about local resources to help you or a loved one break the smoking cycle. They provide the Healthy Connections for your health and well-being.