One of the best things that you can do for your health is to quit smoking. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), these are the benefits you can gain from quitting your tobacco habit:

  • Lowered risk for lung cancer and many other types of cancer.
  • Reduced risk for heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease (narrowing of the blood vessels outside your heart).
  • Reduced heart disease risk within 1 to 2 years of quitting.
  • Reduced respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. While these symptoms may not disappear, they do not continue to progress at the same rate among people who quit compared with those who continue to smoke.
  • Reduced risk of developing some lung diseases (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also known as COPD, one of the leading causes of death in the United States).
  • Reduced risk for infertility in women of childbearing age. Women who stop smoking during pregnancy also reduce their risk of having a low birth weight baby.

Below are a number of links to organizations that are dedicated to educating about you about the health implications of smoking and providing assistance in quitting, including local North Carolina organizations that can help you on your path to wellness.

Smoking Cessation Information and Support – [American Lung Association] – This website is dedicated to helping you quit — from setting the date and plan of action for quitting, getting through the challenges and withdrawal symptoms, and then staying smoke- free long-term. Sign up to receive text messages to help you stay motivated and engaged in the cessation process.

Build Your Quit Plan – This online tool from will help you set the goals and priorities that you have around smoking cessation and then help you create a plan to start you down that path. You can even access live help to assist you in this process.

How To Handle Withdrawal Symptoms and Triggers When You Decide To Quit Smoking – This FAQ page from the National Cancer Institute covers all aspects of dealing with cravings and addressing the triggers that cause you to smoke.

Medication-Assisted Cessation – Learn more about some medications that can help in the process, including nicotine replacement therapy and other non-nicotine prescription medications available to help with tobacco cravings.

North Carolina Tobacco Use Quitline Program – QuitlineNC provides free cessation services to any North Carolina resident who needs help quitting tobacco use. Quit Coaching is available in different forms that can be used separately or together, to help any tobacco user give up tobacco.

Physician Resources to Assist Patients in Quitting

Access intervention guidelines and helpful patient information for your practice.

The Five “A’s” – Five Major Steps to Intervention – [Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality]

North Carolina Tobacco Use Quitline Program Information for Physicians – NC Quitline has a number of resources for physicians, including referral forms for Quitline services, counseling suggestions, coding and billing help and resources for your practice.

Patient Handouts – [from MedlinePlus]