To Quit or Not To Quit... Smoking Cessation Program
Ken Cohen, M.D., F.A.C.P., CMO
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), tobacco use remains the sin- gle largest preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Cigarette smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans each year, with more than 41,000 of these deaths from exposure to secondhand smoke. In addition, smoking-related illness in the United States costs more than $300 billion a year, including nearly $170 billion in direct medical care for adults and $156 billion in lost productivity. While we may turn away from the horrific television commercials that depict a smoker, even this reality may not thwart our desire to smoke.
Given the daunting statistics and adverse health effects, stopping smoking should be easy, but unfortunately, there are physical and emotional ties that need to be tackled. Smoking creates an addiction to nicotine and when it travels to the brain, a temporary feeling of relief and relaxation is experienced. This occurs as a result of the nicotine-induced release of a brain substance known as dopamine. In this respect, nicotine's addictive properties are similar to those of heroin and cocaine. No wonder it is difficult to quit.
But despite these struggles, we know quitting is worth it. Just 20 minutes after quitting, our heart rates return to normal. A mere 12 hours later, carbon monox- ide levels in the blood are back to normal, and as little as two weeks later lung function improves.
New West Physicians is rolling out a program to help patients 18 or over to quit. Choose Your Quit provides you with various quit options to accommodate whether you want to quit within one week, up to 35 days from now, or within 4-12 weeks. With each Quit Option, resources are available to help you including Quit Lines offering counseling, supportive websites, and even a mobile application to support your Quit Program on the move. Prescription aids can help too and your PCP will work with you to provide the best option.
Get started today:
If you choose an option with pharmaceuticals, please schedule an appointment with your provider; however, if you choose the nicotine replacement products, no need for an appointment.