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Your New Year Quit Smoking Plan

If your New Year's resolution is to quit smoking, you're in good company. It's a popular goal and many, many people succeed. There are more former smokers in the United States—nearly 50 million—than current smokers. Planning ahead can help make your healthy resolution a reality. Two good resources to help you quit are www.smokefree.gov and 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), where you can get free advice and support.

For inspiration, look to successful quitters. Beatrice, a busy mother of two boys, shared her quit story in CDC's Tips From Former Smokers campaign. Smoking seemed cool at age 13, when she started smoking regularly. By her 30s, Beatrice's family begged her to quit.

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CDC: Tips from Former Smokers - Beatrice: "I Told Everyone I Stopped Smoking"

Beatrice describes some of the techniques she used to recognize and avoid her smoking triggers that helped her to quit smoking. Even though it was hard to do, by making a plan and sticking to it, she beat her addiction to cigarettes and stopped smoking for good.

Beatrice describes some of the techniques she used to recognize and avoid her smoking triggers that helped her to quit smoking. Even though it was hard to do, by making a plan and sticking to it, she beat her addiction to cigarettes and stopped smoking for good.

How Does Smoking Hurt Your Health?

Knowing the facts about smoking can make you more determined to stop smoking this year.

  • Tobacco smoke contains a deadly mix of more than 7,000 chemicals and chemical compounds. Hundreds are toxic, and about 70 cause cancer.
  • Smoking causes immediate damage to the body.
  • Tobacco use causes an estimated 443,000 deaths each year. It kills more people every year than human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drugs, alcohol abuse, car crashes, suicides, and murders combined.
  • For every person who dies from a tobacco-related disease, another 20 people live with a serious smoking-related illness.

People who stop smoking can greatly reduce their risk for disease and early death. The younger you are when you quit, the better your chances of avoiding health problems.

Save Your Breath

Most cases of the serious lung disease called COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) are caused by smoking. COPD makes it harder and harder to breathe. The disease can make people too sick to work and lead to an early death. When you quit smoking, you can:

  • Reduce your coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath
  • Reduce your risk of developing COPD
  • Slow the weakening of your lungs, if you already have some damage
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CDC Tips From Former Smokers - Michael: I Live in Constant Fear

Michael is an Alaska Native who lives with severe COPD from smoking. He learned the hard way that COPD can disable smokers in the prime of life. Michael shares his story in CDC’s Tips From Former Smokers campaign—and hopes that his suffering will encourage smokers to quit.

When you quit smoking, you also help protect your children, family, and friends from exposure to secondhand smoke. It can cause immediate harm to those who breathe it.

No One Said Quitting Would Be Easy

Quitting smoking can be challenging. Most people make multiple attempts. That's because nicotine is a very addictive drug. But don't give up trying just because you haven't succeeded in the past.

Think about your past attempts to quit—what worked and what didn't. If one method didn't work, don't hesitate to try another method. You can learn something new every time you try. This time might be time you quit for good!

Choose the Best Quit Method for You

Many effective quit methods are available. The science-based strategies listed below have worked for many people:

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