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Smoking Cessation

If you are a smoker, you need to stop now – especially if you have cancer. Thirty percent of all cancer deaths are attributed to smoking. Research consistently has proven quitting smoking is paramount to lung health.

If you quit smoking, you’re more likely to live a healthier and longer life and decrease your cancer risk for more than a dozen cancer types.

Smoking-related deaths represent 87 percent of lung cancer diagnoses, and half of lifetime smokers will die from a tobacco-related disease. Your risk of lung cancer increases with each cigarette you smoke. Tobacco use also raises risks for a number of other health conditions, including other cancers, respiratory diseases, heart disease, and stroke.

Some smokers quit cold turkey, unaided by smoking cessation medicines or nicotine replacement gum or patches. Others choose to quit gradually by slowly decreasing the number of cigarettes each day.

Nicotine patches, gum, inhalers, and lozenges may be used to replace, reduce, and eliminate nicotine dependence. Nicotine inhalers require a prescription, but other nicotine replacement therapies are available over the counter. Users reduce dosage and frequency over 12 weeks or less.


  • Choose a day: Set aside a day to stop smoking. Some people use children’s birthdays, anniversaries, or other occasions to easily remember their motivations for quitting.
  • Make a list: Make a list of all the reasons to quit smoking and make it visible every day as a constant reminder.
  • Trash the stash: Eliminate all cigarettes, ashtrays, and lighters.
  • Avoid temptation: Steer clear of popular smoking areas and cigarette smoke when possible.
  • Adopt a hobby: Gardening, yard work, and other hobbies can keep your hands busy to help you resist the urge to smoke.
  • Keep your mouth busy: Drink water, chew gum, or snack on fruit or vegetable slices to refrain from giving in to cravings.
  • Ask for help: Call the Quit for Life Hotline at 1-877-937-7848. This hotline is a joint effort of the Texas Department of State Health Services and American Cancer Society.