Lung cancer is one of the most deadly forms of cancer for both men and women―it is responsible for about 30 percent of all cancer deaths in the United States. Every year, the country recognizes November as Lung Cancer Awareness Month to focus on learning about and preventing lung cancer. Thankfully, we know the major cause of lung cancer cases―tobacco use. This month, help a loved one quit smoking, or, if you smoke, make the choice to quit for good.
Here are some tips to help you (or your loved one) finally kick the habit:
- Write a list of reasons why you want to stop: Keep this note where you would keep a pack of cigarettes. When you are tempted to smoke, instead you will find reminders for why you quit.
- Set a date for stopping: Recent research has shown it may be best to stop smoking “cold turkey” rather than gradually, for both emotional and physiological reasons. Regardless of how you choose to stop, making a plan will help you be more successful.
- Tell your friends and family you’re quitting: People will offer you support and hold you accountable. If you know other smokers, encourage them to quit with you because a team effort may be easier.
- Be positive: Take one day at a time and mark each smoke-free day off on a calendar. If you fail, learn from your experience to make it easier next time.
- Reward yourself: Put the money you would have spent on cigarettes in a jar. At smoke-free milestones (1 month, 6 months, 1 year), buy yourself a present with the money you’ve saved.
Smoking causes about 90 percent of lung cancer cases, and this includes cigars and hookah. Hookah, in particular, is often mistaken as a safer form of tobacco smoking, but this is a myth! Smoking cigars and hookah have the same health consequences as traditional cigarettes and, like smoking cigarettes, can cause many cancers, including lung, cervical, colorectal, oral, throat, esophagus, liver and bladder.
This month, make the choice to finally quit smoking all tobacco products or help a loved one quit. To learn more about lung cancer prevention and screening, click here.