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Smoking Cessation

Chronic Lung Disease: Tips for Quitting Smoking

Cigarette smoke damages lung tissue and irritates airways. This makes breathing harder. Smoking also damages tiny hairs (cilia) in the airways. Then the cilia can’t do their job of clearing mucus, dirt, and germs from the lungs. It’s never too late to quit smoking. Your health will start to improve on the same day you put out your last cigarette.

You don’t have to quit alone

You may be more likely to quit for good if you seek support from others.

  • Talk with your healthcare provider about your plans to quit. Ask about medicines that can help. Some contain nicotine and some don't. Some you can get by prescription. You can buy others over-the-counter. These medicines help control the desire to use tobacco. And they control symptoms that occur when people try to quit. Others slowly reduce nicotine levels in the body. Your provider can tell you about your choices such as:

    • Oral medicines such as bupropion or varenicline

    • Nicotine replacement therapy such as gum, lozenge, a patch, inhaler, or nasal spray

  • Join a support group or get advice from an ex-smoker.

  • Ask other smokers in your household to quit with you. 

Tips for quitting smoking

There isn’t one right way to stop smoking. Everyone quits in their own way. Some of these tips may help:

  • Make a list of reasons you want to quit. Keep this list and read it often.

  • Pick a date to quit smoking. Then stick to it.

  • List the things that make you want to smoke. Think of ways to stay away from these triggers.

  • Set goals for yourself. Try going for a week without smoking. Reward yourself when you meet your goals.

  • If you don’t quit the first time, keep trying! Many people have to try more than once before they stop smoking for good.

For more information

Online Medical Reviewer: Alan J Blaivas DO
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith RN MSN CCRC
Online Medical Reviewer: John Hanrahan MD
Date Last Reviewed: 11/1/2018
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