Smoking cessation is an effort by a person who regularly uses tobacco products to establish a plan to reduce, and eventually eliminate, tobacco use. Tobacco contains nicotine, a highly addictive drug, in addition to the 69 chemicals known to cause cancer. All major medical institutions acknowledge that quitting smoking greatly increases a person's health prospects.
Smoking cessation may be accomplished by many different approaches. The pharmacological approach often contains various nicotine replacement therapies, such as the patch, nicotine gum or lozenges, or even a nicotine inhaler. Some alternative therapies include certain herbal combinations, such as kava kava and chamomile, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, and relaxation therapy. Some individuals simply pick a quit date and stick with it.
In the past few decades, the medical community has come to recognize the enormous health risks of smoking. Though governmental and health related organizations have conducted extensive campaigns to address the hazards of smoking, less information is available on strategies a smoker can use to quit.
According to the American Lung Association, smoking is the leading preventable cause of increased morbidity (increased risk for disease) and mortality (death) in the United States. Approximately one of every five deaths (438,000 deaths) each year can be attributed to smoking including deaths from lung cancer, emphysema, and heart disease. Causes of death from cigarette smoking include: stroke, lung cancer, coronary heart disease, chronic lung disease, other cancers, and other conditions
An estimated 20.9% of all adults (age 18 or older), or approximately 44.5 million people, smoke cigarettes in the United States.
Cigarette smoking is more common among men than women.
Among current adult smokers in the United States, 70 percent report that they want to quit completely. In 2004, an estimated 14.6 million, or 40.5% of adult smokers, had stopped smoking for at least one day during the preceding 12 months because they were trying to quit.
Nearly 54% of current high school cigarette smokers in the United States tried to quit smoking within the preceding year.
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