This Month, Create a Plan to Quit Smoking

One of the main priorities of the Life at VetCor program is ensuring our employee have the tools and resources they need to improve their overall wellbeing.

Cigarette buttsNovember marks two important health initiatives - National Diabetes Month and the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout on November 21st. Because smoking increases a person’s chance of developing diabetes, we want to talk about the benefits of quitting and how you can get started.

As you know, smoking negatively affects your health. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it causes a variety of adverse physical health risks, numerous respiratory and cardiovascular problems, and many types of cancer, including lung, liver, and esophageal.

Diabetes is similarly harmful. The CDC reports that people who have diabetes are twice as likely to suffer from heart disease or strokes than people without it. It’s also the leading cause of kidney failure, lower limb amputations, and adult-onset blindness. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease, accounting for over 90% of all diabetes cases, and smokers are 30 - 40% more likely to develop it than nonsmokers.

The Great American Smokeout exists to help smokers create a plan to start living healthier, smoke-free lives. Like us, the American Cancer society understands that kicking a long-term habit is hard, so they’ve compiled a list of resources to help interested individuals get started.

What are the Benefits of Quitting Smoking?

While quitting may seem daunting, it comes with a number of benefits including:

  • Improved circulation and lung function
  • Less coughing and a reduced risk of infection
  • Decreased risk of developing diabetes
  • Sharply reduced risk of having a heart attack
  • Lessened chance of developing premature wrinkles, gum disease, and tooth loss

Quitting smoking adds years to your life and, if you quit before you turn 40, you reduce the risk of dying due to a smoke-related health issue by 90%. It’s great for your overall wellbeing and it’s definitely worth a try.

Being unsuccessful in the past doesn't mean quitting is impossible. Remember, there are various methods you can utilize, including therapy, nicotine replacement therapy, prescription medication, and gradual withdrawal. If you feel one method isn’t particularly helpful, don’t be afraid to try something new!

If you have a loved one who smokes and you’re interested in helping them quit, check out these helpful dos and don’ts. Your support will make a world of difference.