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There are so many good reasons to quit smoking. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, claiming 480,000 lives per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Quitting smoking is downright hard. Many smokers try multiple times before actually breaking their addiction. They may turn to tools like behavioral therapy, nicotine gum, patches, apps, and other aids to help them stop.
These videos offer frank insights from former smokers, including their strategies for quitting. They also hit home the dangers of smoking and why it shouldn’t be part of your routine. Maybe they’ll give you or someone you love a reason to put down that cigarette for good.
How Does Smoking Affect Your Face?
The harmful effects of smoking have been known for years. However, sometimes you have to see the damage a negative habit may have upon you personally in order to stop. But this is somewhat of a Catch-22. If you wait for nature to take its course, the damage will have already been done.
To hit home a warning about smoking’s unappealing repercussions — both inside and out — Buzzfeed hired a makeup artist. Watch three smokers be dramatically transformed to their 30-years-into-the-future selves. Their reactions to smoking’s harmful aging effects serve as a wake-up call for everyone.
Health Harms - Mutations 20”
Within only 15 cigarettes, chemicals inhaled during smoking cause mutations in your body. These mutations may be the start of cancer. Imagine what that means for the daily smoker. That’s exactly what the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) campaign to quit smoking did. Using powerful visual cues, the NHS asks you to take advantage of free support to help you quit.
21 Things I’d Rather Do Than Smoke
This campy video offers some silly alternatives preferable to smoking, but it does make a point: Smoking is ridiculous. Rapping their POV like a Beastie Boys mock band, their absurdity gets your attention. Yet they still make it clear that smoking isn’t cool and that you should say no. Share it with a young adult (or a regular adult) to help them stay away from cigarettes.
How to Quit Smoking for Good ... According to Science
Jason Rubin, a former smoker and Think Tank host, shares his take on quitting smoking for good. For Rubin, quitting cold turkey was the only way to quit. His instincts are backed up by research.
A U.K. study evaluated smokers who quit abruptly and those who gave up cigarettes gradually. More people in the abrupt group managed to quit. Rubin shares the coping mechanisms that helped him quit, like changes to his mindset, routine, and social habits. His message: Genuinely wanting to quit makes all the difference.
5 Stages of Quitting Smoking
Hilcia Dez knows that quitting is a process. For her, it follows the same path as the stages of grief outlined by Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. Those five parts are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Watch her act out each stage and see if you spot any similar tendencies on your own path to quit.
CDC: Tips from Former Smokers - Brian: There’s Hope
Brian needed a new heart, but doctors took him off the transplant list while he continued to smoke. He was sent to hospice for his last days, but he and his wife fought to keep him alive.
After surviving a full year, they realized that he may have a chance of living longer. He quit smoking and reapplied for a transplant. Watch his emotional story as he asks you to get rid of your cigarettes. He’s proof that “there’s life on the other side of cigarettes.”
A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit
Judson Brewer is a psychiatrist interested in what mindful behavior means for addiction. He explains that we’re all evolutionarily programmed to go through the same process. We respond to a trigger with a behavior that leads to a reward.
Though once a survival mechanism, this process is now killing us. Reward-seeking is leading to obesity and other addictions. Brewer advocates that mindful smoking naturally turns you off to the behavior. Watch his talk to see how his approach may help smokers, stress eaters, people addicted to tech, and more.
Quit Smoking Now
You don’t have to smoke to experience the dangerous repercussions of smoking. Secondhand smoke can be devastating to those close to smokers. That was the case for Ellie, who experienced her first asthma attack due to secondhand smoke.
Smoking also impacts loved ones in other ways, such as paying for the cost of treatment. Check out the personal stories and statistics shared in this segment of “The Doctors.” Perhaps they will help you or someone you love decide to stop smoking.
CDC: Tips from Former Smokers - Kristy: It Wasn’t Better for Me
Most people who quit for good do so without transitional aids like nicotine patches or gum. Kristy thought that phasing out her smoking by using electronic cigarettes would end her habit. She and her husband made a plan to use e-cigarettes, believing that they had fewer chemicals.
However, things didn’t go as planned. Watch her story before you buy e-cigarettes to see if her strategy is right for you. Need more motivation? Check out other stories from the CDC’s Tips from Former Smokers campaign.
Celebrate Quitters: Adam Shares His Reason to Quit
Many people assume that they’ll stop smoking by a certain age. However, before they know it, that age is upon them and they may still be smoking. That’s what happened with Adam. He finally decided to stop after receiving word of his father’s lung cancer diagnosis. Learn about his transformation and how he feels so much better now that he’s smoke-free.
How I Quit Smoking: Tips on How to Quit Smoking
Sarah Rocksdale wishes she’d never started smoking. When she was about 19, she succumbed to peer pressure from friends. Eventually, she realized she never enjoyed the smell or the feeling of smoking. She was just addicted.
She talks about why and how she quit the first time. Her biggest motivator: watching terrifying health videos about the dangers of smoking. Then, one cigarette slip turned into a relapse. But she got herself back on track. Her story and how great she feels now may inspire you to keep trying. Check out some of her tools linked below the video on YouTube.
This Is the Best Way to Quit Smoking
A large reason that quitting is difficult is due to the addictive nature of nicotine. This is why nicotine replacement is a popular therapy method to help you stop smoking. Trace Dominguez of D News reports that the most effective quitting tool may be no tool at all. He dissects how certain tools work and looks at whether they actually help you stop. Listen to the research in this video before you spend money and energy using these tools or alternative therapies.
Quitting Smoking Is a Journey
Dr. Mike Evans from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health understands that quitting smoking can be complicated. It’s tied up in emotion, and the journey often involves several relapses.
He looks at the different stages and moving parts of quitting and maintenance. He debunks some of the perceived positives of smoking, like stress reduction and weight management. He encourages you to see failures as part of the process and to keep trying. For your best chance of quitting, pay attention to his success rate research and preparedness tips.
This Is What Happens to Your Body When You Quit Smoking
Rather than focus on the harm smoking causes your body, this video focuses on the positive effects of quitting. For example — almost immediately — you may experience a noticeably better heart rate and blood pressure readings. The video highlights other dramatic improvements you could see over the course of your first smoke-free year.
Catherine is a journalist passionate about health, public policy, and women’s rights. She writes on a range of nonfiction topics, from entrepreneurship to women’s issues as well as fiction. Her work has appeared in Inc., Forbes, The Huffington Post, and other publications. She’s a mom, wife, writer, artist, travel enthusiast, and lifelong student.