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Beacon of Hope Wellness Committee: 'Quit Your Way' stop smoking class at the Beacon

January 8, 2020
By Nancy Buthman APRN , Pine Island Eagle

"Why would I want to stop smoking? I enjoy it. It makes me feel good. It helps me when I'm stressed. It keeps my weight down. I've tried and it's not easy."

Let's face it smoking is a tough habit to break. You can do it and there is help out there.

There are many reasons to quit smoking. According to the American Lung Association, smoking and exposure to second hand smoke is the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. There are more than 480,000 tobacco-related deaths every year in the U.S., which is more than all deaths from car accidents, alcohol, illegal drugs and murders combined. Cigarettes cause at least a dozen other types of cancer. If no one smoked, one in three cancers could be prevented.

And it's expensive. In Florida, the average cost of a pack of cigarettes is between $6 and $7. One pack a day costs almost $2,500 a year. Just think about what else you could do with that money.

Many people feel like smoking relieves stress but it actually does just the opposite. And, last but not least, smoking makes you age faster.

What happens when you quit smoking? In as little as 3 months, your risk of heart attack starts to decrease and after a year it decreases sharply. Within 5 years, your stroke risk is the same as a non-smoker and the risk of many cancers will decrease by half. By 10 years your risk of lung cancer is cut by half. And you'll see the benefit in your monthly budget immediately, like giving yourself a raise. Finally you benefit those around you friends, children and grandchildren by eliminating the impact of second hand smoke.

Quitting tobacco isn't easy. Finding help can be. "Tobacco Free Florida" offers free tools and services to help you get started.

There will be a "Quit Your Way" class starting at the Beacon of Hope on Wednesday, Jan. 15, from 5:30 6:30 p.m. This will continue every week through Feb. 19. Free nicotine replacement patches, lozenges or gum will be available. Give it a try. It might save your life.

To register call 877-819-2357 or The Beacon at 239-283-5123.

The Beacon of Hope is located at 5090 Doug Taylor Circle, St. James City.



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