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Quitting tobacco use

  • Benefits of quitting

    • Your body responds quickly to quitting:
      • 8 hours: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. The oxygen level in your blood increases to normal.
      • 24 hours: Your chance of heart attack decreases.
      • 48 hours: Nerve endings start to grow again.
      • 2 weeks: Circulation to your hands and feet improve. Your ability to exercise improves. According to the American Lung Association, your lung function may increase up to 30 percent.
    • There are many health benefits to quitting. Quitting:
      • lowers your chances of stroke, heart disease and nerve damage
      • may lower your blood pressure
      • lowers your risks of many types of cancers

    Suggestions for quitting tobacco

    Studies show that the most successful way to quit uses counseling, medicines and follow-up. Ask your health care provider for more information.

    • Prepare to stop.
      • Get support from family and friends.
      • Avoid places where you know you will want to use tobacco.
      • Plan activities to replace using tobacco.
    • Choose a day to stop.
      • Get rid of cigarettes, ashtrays and lighters.
    • Stop.
      • Stop on the day you planned to stop.
      • Be careful with situations or activities in which you might be tempted to start start using tobacco again.
      • Try to keep your focus on today, not the future. Tell yourself, "I am not smoking today."
    • Stay stopped.
      • Think positive thoughts. Remember why you decided to stop. Reward yourself.
      • Remember that your craving will pass whether you smoke or not.
      • Do not play games like telling yourself, "One cigarette won't hurt," "I deserve a dip or chew," "I just want to see how a cigarette tastes." Your brain might tell you these things to persuade you to go back to tobacco.

    Resources for quitting

    • Tobacco Intervention Program at Abbott Northwestern Hospital
      • 612-863-1648
    • Tobacco Intervention Program at Mercy Hospital
      • 763-236-8008
    • Penny George™ Institute for Health and Healing (LiveWell Center) tobacco intervention coaching
      • 612-863-5178
    • Tobacco Intervention Program at River Falls Area Hospital:
      • 715-307-6075
    • Allina Health United Lung and Sleep Clinic Tobacco Cessation Program
      • 651-726-6200
    • QUITPLAN® (Minnesota)
    • Quit Smoking Hotline (all other states)
      • 1-800-QUIT-NOW
    • online tobacco cessation support
    • American Lung Association
    • Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center's Residential Treatment Program
      • 1-800-344-5984 or 1-507-266-1930
    • Chantix® GetQuit Support plan
    • financial aid for Chantix® or Nicotrol® inhaler
    • To buy aromatherapy
      • Plant Extracts 1-877-999-4236
  • Not Ready to Quit?
    Consider Taking a Break!

    If quitting tobacco seems like too much right now, consider taking a break or a vacation from tobacco use.

    This can help you feel better by restoring balance*.

    • Set a goal to stop using tobacco.
    • Talk with your doctor for resources or ways to cope with withdrawal symptoms.

    If this goes well, maybe you will take more breaks during the year. This could lead to a tobacco-free life!

    *Follow your doctor’s directions for medicine, exercise, diet and other activities.