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Health and Wellness

Smoking Cessation
Smoking Cessation
Health Education Department,
Multicare Associates of the Twin Cities

You can control your risk for heart disease by controlling certain risk factors. The factors that can be controlled include treating high blood pressure, weight management, controlling cholesterol and diabetes, increasing exercise, and smoking cessation. If you smoke, quitting is the single most effective step you can take to lower your risk of heart disease.

Smoking hurts your heart every time you light up. Did you know that when you smoke, nicotine, which is the addictive drug in tobacco products, raises blood pressure and makes your heart beat faster? Smoking encourages irregular heartbeats, and if you already have developed heart disease it can make it worse and cause you to have angina or pain in your chest. Smoking just four cigarettes a day can increase your risk of heart attack by 50 percent! The risk of dying from a heart attack is two to four times greater among people who smoke. If you smoke, you need to ask yourself if the risk to your health is worth it.

Quitting is never easy, but the rewards for your health are immeasurable. There are many tools available to help you quit smoking. Although many people try to quit "cold turkey," it may not be the best way to quit smoking for good. You may want to talk with your health care professional about how to use the various nicotine replacement products that are on the market, and other medications that are designed to help break the nicotine addiction. No matter how you decide to quit, be sure to get the support of family and friends, a smoking support group, or the health educator at your clinic.

Plan today to become an ex-smoker. Set a quit date. Limit the places where you allow yourself to smoke. Make a list of reasons that you want to quit. Buy only one pack of cigarettes at a time. Make an appointment with a health educator or smoking support group. Then when your quit date arrives, be prepared to join 1.5 million Americans who quit smoking each year. You will be glad you did!

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