Healthe-Matters Logo

Essential health information from local experts

Quit Smoking in 2024 | New Year, Healthier You

Quit Smoking in 2024 | New Year, Healthier You

With Sarasota Memorial’s Lung Health Experts

It's a new year - and yet another chance for all of us to adapt healthier habits by setting new year's resolutions. And one of the most common resolutions is also one that can have the most impact on overall health and quality of life: quitting smoking.

Not only does smoking harm lung function and increase risk of cancer, it also increases risk of heart attack and stroke-not to mention the damage it does to your wallet and dating life. But quitting can have instant benefits. Did you know that, after smoking your last cigarette:

  • Your blood pressure drops to normal within 20 minutes?!
  • Your blood-oxygen level increases within 8 hours?!
  • Your breathing improves and your overall energy increases within 2-12 weeks?!

And while quitting smoking is one of the hardest resolutions to stick with, the benefits last forever.

If you’ve resolved to quit tobacco this year, give it your best shot with the tips and tools below from Sarasota Memorial’s lung health experts.

Ready to Quit?

We can help. Sarasota Memorial hosts monthly classes on smoking cessation, led by the experts of Tobacco Free Florida. In these FREE sessions, develop a personalized quit plan and double your chances of success. Check the SMH Calendar for the date of the next session.

To register for an upcoming class near you, call (866) 534-7909 or click here.

To learn more about resources from Tobacco Free Florida, click here.

Top Tips for Quitting Smoking

It’s Never ‘Just 1 Puff’

“After you quit smoking, there's no such thing as bumming one cigarette. That one cigarette you bum quickly turns into a pack you’ve bought. You're always one puff away from a pack a day. I've had patients go 5, 10 years down the road, and then after that one puff, they go back to smoking. Don't let that be you. Don't take that one cigarette. Don't even take the first puff.” — Kirk Voelker, MD, Critical Care Pulmonologist and Medical Director of Clinical Research, Sarasota Memorial Health Care System.

Get Rid of Reminders

Get rid of anything you associate with smoking, like ashtrays and lighters. Wash laundry that might smell like cigarette smoke. Clean upholstery or carpets that may hold the smell. Then use air freshener to deodorize any lingering scent. You don't want to see or smell anything that reminds you of smoking.

Beat Nicotine Cravings

Worried about nicotine cravings? If you start to crave a cigarette, remember this: most cravings pass in 3 to 8 minutes.

Distract yourself by finding something else to do-pop on some music, dance, go outside for a walk, play with a pet or call a friend. Try meditation and deep breathing, or just drink a glass of water. Do something-anything-other than lighting up.

Stay strong for those few minutes and you’ll thank yourself later.

Tools to Quit

Did you know that if you use nicotine replacement therapy—nicotine gum, patches or lozenges—to quit smoking, you're 2 to 3 times more likely to be successful?!

“If you smoke 10 or more cigarettes a day, we recommend using dual therapy to quit. That means using the nicotine patch, plus the gum/lozenge for breakthrough cravings throughout the day. Nicotine replacement therapy is safe, effective and easily tolerated by most people. There also are prescription medications that can help you quit nicotine, and can be used in combination with nicotine gum, patches or lozenges. Discuss these options with your healthcare provider or a pharmacist.” — Amie Miller, ARNP, Lung Cancer Screening Program Coordinator

We’re Here to Help

It’s never too late to quit smoking and Sarasota Memorial is here to help.

Call 941-917-5864 (941-917-LUNG) for information and resources on free smoking cessation programs.SMH Copywriter, Phil Lederer

Written by Sarasota Memorial copywriter Philip Lederer, MA, who crafts a variety of external communications for the healthcare system. SMH's in-house wordsmith, Lederer earned his Master's degree in Public Administration and Political Philosophy from Morehead State University, KY, and still gets cravings.

Posted: Dec 26, 2023,
Comments: 0,