We have good news for people who smoke cigarettes and want to quit. In the latest Smoking Cessation Surgeon General’s Report [PDF 7.6MB], the U.S. Surgeon General says quitting is the most important action you can take to improve your health.
Quitting smoking at any age can add as much as a decade to your life. Stopping not only improves your health, but also your quality of life. The U.S. Surgeon General has more good news too: there are proven ways to help you quit smoking.
What if I smoke and don’t see any negative effects to my readiness?
You and your buddies may not see the immediate effects from smoking in your day-to-day activities. However, studies show that smoking causes concerns for Service members — those who smoke are less productive and do not perform as well on physical fitness tests as nonsmokers do.
Smoking causes other immediate effects such as raised blood pressure and heart rate or fatigue that you may not associate with smoking. Over time, these can lead to serious illness, such as heart and lung disease, cancer and vision loss.
That’s why the Surgeon General recommends quitting smoking earlier in life — when it can yield the greatest health benefits.
The positive news: Many smokers want to quit
Nearly 70% of U.S. adults who smoke cigarettes say they want to quit, and more than half of those try to quit each year.
You may have already tried to quit smoking several times. This is normal, so don’t give up hope. Each quit attempt is an opportunity to learn new strategies on how to quit and make a stronger plan so you can quit for good.
What are proven ways to help?
Proven treatments, such as medication and counseling, are available, but less than one third of people trying to quit use them.
Using counseling and medications together more than doubles your chances of quitting successfully.
Are you ready to quit?
Explore your options with your health care provider:
Be a success story— use all the resources available to you so you can quit smoking for good.