April Health Hint: No More Butts – Quit Smoking Now

There are a host of factors that could put you at risk for heart disease, but none greater UHC-blog-header (3)than smoking.

Smoking is a “health risk that keeps on giving,” since it also exposes others to the health risks.

If you’re ready to quit, here are some tips:

  • Set a date for quitting. Take one day at a time, and set short-term goals.
  • Tell your family and friends about your plans. You will need their encouragement when you feel the urge to light up. Having social support is one of the keys to quitting successfully.
  • Avoid temptation. Get rid of all cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays.
  • Talk to your doctor about using a medication or nicotine replacement therapy as an alternative to quitting “cold turkey.”
  • Change your routine. If you usually light up during your morning coffee, then eat breakfast in a different place or drink tea instead of coffee.
  • Keep yourself busy. When you get the urge to smoke, talk with someone, go for a walk, exercise, read a book or take a hot bath.

Did you know that starting June 30, the University of Maryland will become a smoke-free campus?

Take advantage of  the many resources available to help you kick the habit, including the the state of Maryland’s “quit coaches”, the University Health Center’s Tobacco Cessation Program or reach out to your private health care provider for options.

Remember, it’s never too late to give up the habit and reap the benefits. You’ll come up on top no matter how old you are or how long you’ve smoked.

TIP:  Quitting helps your wallet. If you smoke one pack of cigarettes a day, you spend about $200 a month on them. That’s $2,400 each year. Make a list of other ways you can spend the money.

This monthly blog series is brought to you by UnitedHealthcare. Follow them on Twitter for more health and wellness tips.

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