Your Health

How and Why to Quit Smoking

There are over 4700 chemical compounds in cigarettes. Although many people know that smoking is an unhealthy habit, they don’t realize that quitting smoking would eliminate almost all of these toxic and poisonous chemicals from their bodies.

Benefits of Quitting

  • Reduced risk of developing heart and lung disease
  • Saves you money
  • Whiter teeth and fresher breath
  • Longer and healthier life
  • No longer ingesting the same chemicals which are used to make paint, rocket fuel, mothballs and gas chamber poison, just to name a few.

Most Common Methods to Quit Smoking

  • Gradual Reduction
  • Nicotine Replacement Therapy
  • Nicotine Gum
  • Nicotine Patch

When you’re quitting smoking, it helps to remember your reasons. Write your reasons for quitting at the top of your Quitting Smoking handout. Reading them from time to time will remind you what all your hard work is for and will help you succeed.

Quitting Smoking

Write your reasons here for quitting:
Keep this handy to help you remember your reasons for quitting.

Make slight changes in your routine.

If you smoke when you: Try doing this:
Drink coffee Have hot chocolate or herbal tea instead
Finish a meal Get right up, take a walk, or go into another room
Watch TV Find another way to keep your hands and mouth busy

Keep your hands and mouth busy.

  • Take up a hobby (like knitting or sewing)
  • Play with something, draw or doodle
  • Use a straw or toothpick
  • Sip water or juice
  • Chew gum or suck on hard candy
  • Work on a craft
  • Decorate your baby’s room
  • Eat a healthy snack, like fresh fruit

Do something to get your mind off of difficult emotions or nerves.

  • Go for a walk
  • Remind yourself what you do well
  • Plan a project
  • Read a good book
  • Talk to a friend
  • Be easy on yourself

Find ways to cope with withdrawal symptoms (your body’s natural reaction to quitting.)

Withdrawal symptom: Try this:
Cough and sore throat Take cough drops or sip warm tea
Hunger Eat low–fat snacks
Dizziness and headaches Get some fresh air; sit when you feel dizzy; nap
Difficulty paying attention Take a walk; work in short bursts
Constipation Eat more fruit, veggies and bran; drink lots of water

Being around someone who is smoking can be tough. Here are a few ways to react to smokers:

  • Ask the person not to smoke around you, since you are trying to quit.
  • Ask friends and family to help by never smoking in the house.
  • Make your home and cars smoke–free, and ask smokers to smoke outside.
  • Leave the room when others light a cigarette.
  • Plan ways to distract yourself when someone else is smoking.
  • Spend more time in smoke–free places.

How to handle "slips"

  • If you do "slip" and have a cigarette, don’t give up. A slip is a mistake, not a failure.
  • Review your reasons for quitting and think about how you can better cope with a craving in the future.
  • Renew your commitment to quit. Ask for help from others who want you to succeed.

Quitting smoking has lots of benefits for YOU:

  • Gives you more energy and helps you breathe easier
  • Saves you money that you can spend on other things
  • Makes your clothes, hair, and home smell better
  • Makes your food taste better


Key Concepts/Main Points.

  • Smoking while pregnant is dangerous for the mothers and babies.
  • Know the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.
  • Understand the benefits of quitting and know how to seek help to quit smoking.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • Have you ever smoked? Have you smoked even one puff in the past 30 days?
  • How many people in your house smoke?
  • Do you work in a smoke–free environment?
  • How many of your friends that you see regularly smoke?


Smoking causes lung disease, heart disease, high blood pressure and increased risk of lung cancer. It is a particularly dangerous habit for women, as it increases risks for delay in conceiving, infertility, diabetes, stillbirth, low birth weight and premature births.

Secondhand Smoke

Secondhand smoke is the smoke that a non–smoker inhales when in the presence of a person who is smoking. Nonsmokers who are married to smokers are more likely to develop lung cancer, and children whose parent(s) smoke suffer higher rates of bronchitis and other lung infections than people who live in smoke–free homes.

Instructor Tips:
Section Goal: Help the participants understand the problems caused by smoking, the benefits of quitting and strategies for quitting.