In the United States, an estimated 34 million adults smoke cigarettes and an estimated 3 million use vaping products. Each year, nearly half a million Americans die prematurely due to the long-term effects of smoking or prolonged exposure to secondhand smoke. The good news is that no matter how old you are or how long you have smoked, quitting smoking has immediate and long-term health benefits.
Quitting smoking is the single most important step a person can take to live a longer and healthier life. Not only will it reduce your chances of getting cancer and other smoking-related diseases, but quitting smoking also protects your family members, friends, coworkers, and others from the health risks associated with second-hand smoke.
Here are three steps that you can take to quit smoking for good:
- Make the decision to quit. Set a quit date and share it with your family and friends. Ask them to support you in a positive way while you work to quit smoking.
- Talk to your doctor or health care provider. They can provide treatments or other options to help you quit.
- Make a plan to manage your day without smoking. Smoking is likely a part of your daily life, so think of the different activities that can be done instead of smoking (e.g. exercising, chewing gum or candy, deep breathing, etc.).
Quitting is hard, but the good news is there are many resources that can help. All Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) plans offer 100 percent coverage to help you quit smoking. FEHB tobacco cessation benefits cover all approved tobacco cessation medications and up to four tobacco cessation counseling sessions per year.
Your Employee Assistance Program Can Help!
Your Component Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is also available to support you quit smoking. For more information contact your Component EAP or send an email to the DHS Work-Life team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional resources and information about quitting smoking, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Quit Smoking website.