When people are trying to break an addiction like smoking, they often see repeated failures as a sign that they will never succeed. In reality, the opposite is true: According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), many ex-smokers fail multiple times in their efforts to quit before they are finally successful.
Even if you've tried to quit smoking again and again, it is worth it to keep trying. The NCI reports that most people slip up within the first few months of trying to quit, so this is the time when you are most vulnerable. But don't despair--remember, every time you try to quit is an opportunity for success. If you start to feel frustrated with your efforts to quit, just remind yourself of the many reasons why you shouldn't give up:
Smoking Causes Disease
The CDC reports that smoking is harmful to almost every organ in your body. Because of this, smoking often leads to disease and illness, harming your health and quality of life. Smoking has been linked to heart disease and lung cancer, as well as many other cancers including cancer of the kidneys, bladder, pancreas, and stomach.
Smoking Is Deadly
Nearly one in five deaths each year is caused by tobacco use, according to the CDC. In fact, more people die annually from cigarette smoking than from drug and alcohol use, car accidents, HIV, murders, and suicides combined. Approximately 90 percent of all deaths from lung cancer in men, and 80 percent in women, are from smoking.
Smoking Affects Reproduction
When you smoke, you put yourself at higher risk for many adverse heath effects, including reproductive problems. Smokers have a greater chance to experience infertility, stillbirth, preterm delivery, low birth weight, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) than nonsmokers. In addition, the NCI reports that babies born to mothers who smoke are more likely to have learning problems.
Smoking Hurts Quality of Life
Nonsmokers enjoy many advantages over smokers, from whiter teeth and healthier gums to breathing easier and coughing less. Smoking may negatively affect your energy levels and ability to focus, as well as your physical fitness. By quitting, you'll be a better role model for your friends and family (especially your kids), you'll have more money to spend on healthier pursuits, and you'll feel more in control of your life.
HealthAhead Hint: Be Persistent
Most people try to quit smoking multiple times before they succeed. It's challenging to break a nicotine craving, but it can be done--the NCI reports that most cigarette-related cravings go away within a few months of quitting. Don't get discouraged if you slip up. Stay positive, acknowledge the setback, and keep trying to succeed. Eventually, you will get off the quitting treadmill so that you can enjoy a smoke-free life.
A setback doesn't mean failure--look for triggers that caused your slip, and try again to avoid them. Adjust your activities and routines if necessary. When you remind yourself of the many rewards that await you when you finally succeed, you'll know that your persistence is worth the effort.