Reasons To Quit
There are thousands of reasons to quit smoking. All of them are good.
We’ve gathered some of the most popular reasons and put them together here. You can see everything you stand to gain by quitting.
Money in Your Pocket
When you quit smoking, it’s not just your health that you’re saving. You’ll be amazed to see what you can afford to do when you’re not spending money on cigarettes. Use this calculator to see for yourself.
The U.S. Surgeon General says there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. If you’re around secondhand smoke, it’s like you’re smoking too. Even short exposure to secondhand smoke has immediate harmful effects. It increases the risk for heart disease and lung cancer.
See all the ways secondhand smoke is bad for you and your loved ones.
- Children and babies have small lungs that are still growing. They have an even bigger risk from these poisons.
- When children breathe in smoke, it can cause health problems that stay with them their entire lives. These include problems like asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, more-frequent ear infections, and allergies.
- Secondhand smoke makes the symptoms even worse for adults who suffer from asthma, allergies or bronchitis.
- Babies whose parents or caregivers smoke are twice as likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- Don’t forget about your furry and feathered friends! Pets that breathe secondhand smoke have more allergies, cancer and lung problems than pets living in smoke-free homes.
For more facts and information, download the Secondhand Smoke: What it Means to You PDF file. This file was prepared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the direction of the Office of the Surgeon General.
View the full Report of the Surgeon General on The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke (2006). Or, go to www.surgeongeneral.gov.
Additional facts on tobacco and secondhand smoke are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at www.cdc.gov/tobacco.
Smoking and Pregnancy
If you’re pregnant or considering pregnancy, now is a great time to quit smoking. Quitting smoking before, during or after pregnancy is the best gift you can give yourself and your baby.
Learn how quitting smoking before, during or after pregnancy is the best gift you can give to yourself and the ones you care about.
- You decrease your chance of having a miscarriage.
- Your baby gets more oxygen, even after just one day of not smoking.
- There’s less risk your baby will be born early.
- There’s a better chance that your baby will come home from the hospital with you.
See how exposure to secondhand smoke can affect your baby’s breathing.
- You lower your baby’s risk for breathing secondhand smoke–which can cause breathing problems, wheezing and sickness.
- You lower the risk of your baby suffering from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), ear infections, asthma, bronchitis, or pneumonia.
Learn why your health matters to your baby, too.
- You’ll have more energy and breathe easier.
- Your clothes, hair, and home will smell better.
- Your food will taste better.
- You’ll have more money that you can spend on other things.
- You’ll be less likely to develop heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, chronic lung disease, and other smoke-related diseases.
When it comes to you and your baby, it’s never too late to quit. See how one Vermont mom quit for her baby by calling the Quitline
802Quits is here to help with free support specially designed for you. You can get free counseling from your doctor’s office if you are pregnant and on Medicaid. Talk to your doctor today.
1-800-QUIT-NOW has a special program for new and expecting mothers. You’ll work with a specially trained Pregnancy Coach during and after your pregnancy to help you quit smoking. Learn more about this program.
Quit and Get Fit
Please note: Enrollment for the GetFitVT program is now closed.
Many people are concerned about gaining weight after they quit smoking. It’s important to keep in mind all the benefits of quitting smoking and how much you are doing for your health by quitting. If you are concerned about gaining weight, here are some tips that can help you prevent weight gain and improve your health!
Get tips on how to nourish your body with healthy foods.
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
- Plan your meals and a healthy snack so you don’t ever get really hungry. (It’s too easy to grab unhealthy foods when you’re hungry.)
- Come up with a list of healthy snacks that you enjoy (e.g., sunflower seeds, fruit, unbuttered popcorn, wholegrain cracker w/cheese, celery stick with peanut butter).
- Drink plenty of water and limit drinks with calories like alcohol, sugary juices, and sodas.
- Watch your portion sizes. The Healthy Eating Plate2 below can help you plan your portion sizes.
- Aim to have half your dinner plate be vegetables/fruit, 1/4 of the plate be a lean protein (e.g., chicken, baked fish, chili), and 1/4 of the plate be a healthy carb like sweet potato or brown rice.
- If you have a “sweet tooth,” limit dessert to once a day and limit size of dessert (e.g., half cup of ice cream, half cup of nuts mixed with dried fruit & dark chocolate chips, 6 oz. Greek yogurt with 1 piece of fresh fruit, 2 squares of dark chocolate). Search the internet for “healthy dessert ideas.”
Move more. Learn how staying active helps you stay healthy.
Physical activity, such as walking, gardening/yardwork, biking, dancing, lifting weights, shoveling, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, horseshoes, helps you in many ways:1
- Reduces stress
- Helps improve your mood
- Helps to prevent you from gaining weight
- Keeps sugar levels down to prevent diabetes (or keep diabetes under control)
- Makes a body stronger
- Keeps your bones and joints healthier
Set a goal of adding 5 extra minutes of physical activity to what you already do each day until you reach an hour a day. Remember, physical activity can be anything that makes you move enough to work up a sweat.
Choose activities other than eating to help you fight cravings to smoke. The hand-to-mouth habit that smokers have can be as tough to let go of as the cigarette itself. It’s tempting to replace the cigarette with food to satisfy that hand-to-mouth habit. Some smokers find it helpful to chew on a straw or sugar-free gum, or do something new to occupy your hands. Check out other Tips & Tools from former smokers.
Don’t let the worry of gaining a few extra pounds discourage you from quitting. By quitting smoking you are not only taking steps to add years to your life, you improve your quality of life and keep the people around you safe from secondhand smoke. And don’t hesitate to talk with your health care provider if you are worried about weight gain.