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Interactive Tool: How Does Smoking Affect Your Lifespan? - What's next?

Quitting smoking can be difficult, especially if you have been smoking for a long time. It may take several tries before you succeed. But even if you have a strong dependence on nicotine, it is still possible to quit. And even if you have smoked for many years, quitting smoking now can still increase your lifespan and improve the quality of your life.

The best way to stop smoking is to get help and to follow a plan. You can increase your chances of quitting if you:

  • Take medicines, such as bupropion (Zyban) or varenicline (Chantix).
  • Use nicotine replacement therapy (gum, lozenges, patches, or inhalers).
  • Get counseling (by phone, group, or one-on-one).

Taking medicine and getting counseling works even better for quitting smoking.

If you are not sure about your readiness to quit smoking, use the interactive tool Are You Ready to Quit Smoking? calculator.gif

Sources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2002). Annual smoking-attributable mortality, years of potential life lost, and economic costs—United States, 1995–1999. MMWR, 51(14): 300–303. Also available online: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5114a2.htm.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1994). Surveillance for selected tobacco-use behaviors—United States, 1900–1994. MMWR, 43(SS-3): 1–43. Also available online: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/ss/ss4303.pdf.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics (2009). Table 26. Life expectancy at birth, at 65 years of age, and at 75 years of age, by race and sex. In Health, United States, 2008 With Chartbook, p. 203.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 20, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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