Stop Smoking

Quitting the habit of smoking is one of the best things to do for overall health and longevity. Soon after smoking the last cigarette, blood circulation improves and blood pressure typically returns to normal. In the long term, the risk of certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, lung disease, and numerous other smoking-related illnesses is dramatically reduced. Smoking is not only detrimental to overall health, it can also increase pain levels. Over time, smoking actually increases pain sensitivity and worsens joint pain. Smoking impairs the transport of oxygen-filled blood to tissues and bones. Decreased blood flow can lead to low back pain, degenerative disc disease, and osteoporosis.

Although quitting smoking is not an easy task, it can be done. Many smokers attempt to quit several times before they kick the habit for good. While some quit “cold turkey,” others use nicotine-replacement therapy, counseling, or medications to help. Talking to a health care provider about different approaches to quit smoking can help.

Quitlines are also available. Quitlines have trained specialists who can help develop an individualized quit-smoking plan. They also provide free counseling on how to deal with cravings and withdrawal symptoms, referrals for local smoking cessation programs, and information about quit-smoking medications. Using a quitline increases the probability of quitting successfully.


United States: 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669)

Canada: 1-866-366-3667