Licensed professionals and helpful resources can help you quit
The problem is real:
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States.
- Smoking accounts for more than 480,000 deaths annually, or about 20%, per the CDC.
- Current CDC data show about 34 million U.S. adults—nearly 14%—smoke.
But so is the solution:
- Most adult smokers (68%, according to the CDC) want to quit.
- Since 2002, there are more former smokers than current ones.
- The positive health results of quitting smoking can be measured within weeks, days, or even hours.
And beyond making big improvements in your health, the American Lung Association outlines other major benefits to quitting:
- Your wallet—It’s expensive to smoke cigarettes. In some places, a pack of cigarettes costs more than $10, and prices keep rising. Even if a pack costs “only” $5, smoking one pack per day equals $1,825 each year.
- Your convenience—Are you tired of having to go outside many times a day to have a cigarette? Is standing in the cold and the rain really worth it? Wouldn’t it be easier if you could choose to go outside only when you want to and not when you need to?
- Your friends and family—Cigarette smoke harms everyone who inhales it, not just the smoker. Whether you’re young or old and in good health or bad, secondhand smoke is dangerous. Both you and the people in your life will breathe easier when you quit.
- Your quality of life—Your senses of taste and smell improve when you stop smoking, your smoker’s cough disappears, you have more energy, and you can sit through a long movie or airplane flight without craving a cigarette.
Quitting smoking can be very challenging, and it can take more than one try—or several attempts over a long time. However, you are not alone: If you want to quit, Department of Consumer Affairs’ allied health, behavioral sciences, and psychology licensees can help (you can check professionals’ licenses at https://search.dca.ca.gov). In addition, the California Department of Public Health offers several resources in partnership with the California Smokers’ Helpline ( NO-BUTTS), a free phone, text, app, and chat-based tobacco cessation program available in multiple languages. So if you are one of the millions of Americans still smoking cigarettes, give quitting a try—or another try—with the assistance of these professionals and resources.