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Thinking of joining the growing ranks of former smokers? If so, it's one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself and your family.
As you pick a quit date, you may have some last-minute worries about giving up the habit. Here are four common concerns that people have about stopping smoking—and how you can conquer them:
Many former smokers do gain some weight, but it's typically less than 10 pounds. And that's not as bad for your health as continuing to smoke. While it's more important to focus on quitting, you might be able to minimize weight gain at the same time. For example, snacking on healthy foods, like fruit or veggies, and taking walks can help you curb cravings and calories.
No matter how long you've smoked, quitting now can help you live a healthier, longer life. Quitting smoking can also change other things about your life. For example, you can save a lot of money. And you won't have to worry about when you'll get your next cigarette break or if you smell like smoke.
Smoking urges and withdrawal symptoms, like feeling nervous or irritable, will lessen as time goes by. Until then, you might try some of these ideas when you feel the urge to smoke: Sip water, take short walks or take deep, relaxing breaths. Talk to a close friend when you're feeling stressed. Ask your doctor about nicotine replacement aids, such as nicotine patches or gums.
Millions of people have already quit smoking. If they can do it, so can you. The most important thing is to not give up. In fact, most people have to try to quit a few times before they can finally stop smoking for good. So even if you've tried before and weren't able to quit, you should still try again.
Sources: American Lung Association; Smokefree.gov; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services