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Posts Tagged ‘Quit Smoking’

Honor Lung Cancer Awareness Month by Quitting Smoking. By Our Student Pharmacist, Isatu Kamara.


November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. The next most common causes of cancer death are colorectal, breast and pancreatic cancer; lung cancer is still responsible for more deaths than the three combined. The best thing one can do to prevent lung cancer is to stop smoking or to continue to abstain from smoking if you are not a smoker.

For individuals who have smoked, you may benefit from a lung cancer screening. A CT scan is recommended for those who are 50 to 80 years old and have a 20 pack-year history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. Pack-year refers to the average amount of packs of cigarettes smoked per day for one year.

Lung cancer screening also has its own risks, so it is only recommended for those that are high risk of developing lung cancer due to age and smoking history. Talk to your health care provider to find out if screening is recommended for you.

Aside from the reduced lung cancer risk, quitting smoking has a wide range of health benefits. It lowers the risk of heart disease, lung disease, kidney failure, infection, stomach issues, and osteoporosis.

Quitting smoking may be easier said than done for some people, but there are support and resources available. It is possible to stop smoking without any help, but with help the chances of being successful with quitting improve greatly.

Here are some steps to get started with quitting:

  • Discuss the decision to stop smoking with your primary care physician or local pharmacist.
  • Pick the date you want to quit.
  • Tell your family and friends that you plan on quitting.
  • Make a plan and account for challenges you may face, like cravings.
  • Remove cigarettes from your home and car.
  • When your quit date arrives, follow your plan and follow up with your health care providers.

There are over-the-counter medications to help you stop smoking, like nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). As you may know, nicotine is the main addictive substance in tobacco. When you try to quit smoking, you may experience symptoms of withdrawal due to your body not getting nicotine anymore. Nicotine replacement therapy helps with the physical withdrawal symptoms of quitting.

NRT comes in different forms including skin patches, gum, and lozenges.

While NRT helps with the physical symptoms, you may need to attend counseling or support groups to help with the emotional aspects of quitting. There are also prescription-only medication options that may work for you.

When you are ready to quit, talk to your primary care physician or pharmacist about the options that are available for you. Also, make sure that they have an accurate list of your medications and are aware of all of your medical conditions.

Make the decision to quit smoking today!

For help quitting, visit smokefree.gov, call 1 (800) QUIT-NOW (784-8669), or text “QUIT” to 47848.


  1. Lung Cancer Awareness Feature. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/resources/features/lungcancer/index.htm. Published October 20, 2022. Accessed November 7, 2022.
  1. Lung Cancer Awareness month. American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). https://www.aacr.org/patients-caregivers/awareness-months/lung-cancer-awareness-month/. Published November 1, 2022. Accessed November 7, 2022.
  1. Nicotine replacement therapy to help you quit tobacco. American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/guide-quitting-smoking/nicotine-replacement-therapy.html. Published August 2, 2021. Accessed November 7, 2022.
  1. Patient education: Quitting smoking (Beyond the Basics). UpToDate. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/quitting-smoking-beyond-the-basics. Published January 21, 2021. Accessed November 7, 2022.

Quit Smoking. By Our August Student Pharmacist, Moe Hamad.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Americans spend roughly 80 billion dollars a year on cigarettes. Along with the high financial cost of tobacco, prolonged exposure can lead to many deadly complications including cancer. Your health is a precious thing and every cigarette you smoke affects every organ in your body.

Many people don’t even remember the reason they began smoking. But now that they have picked up the habit, it is difficult for them to stop. It has become entrenched in their daily routine. It is difficult to get someone to break a habit. It takes several attempts for a person to stop smoking. That might sound difficult, but the payoff is worth the effort. Quitting helps your body heal from the damages caused by tobacco.

Listed below are just some of the many ways smoking can affect your body, according to Healthline newsletter:

  1. Lungs: When you smoke, every cigarette you take in contains chemicals that directly damage the lungs. Over a prolonged period of time, the lung damage can lead to long term consequences such as emphysema, COPD, chronic bronchitis, and even cancer.
  2. Cardiovascular system: Smoking also affects your cardiovascular system causing your blood vessels to constrict and  tightening and allowing less blood to flow to your body. This condition is known as peripheral vascular disease. Smoking can also raise your blood pressure and cause blood clots. Other deadly ways smoking can affect your cardiovascular health is by increasing your chance of having a heart attack or stroke.
  3. Tobacco affects nearly every organ in the body: Other complications of tobacco include skin cancer, pancreatic cancer, mouth cancer, increased insulin resistance, and decreased libido.

The CDC reports that cigarettes contain more than 7,000 chemicals and about 70 of those chemicals cause cancer. Breaking the habit of smoking is difficult, but engaging in an active discussion with your doctor is an important first step to quitting. A crucial step to quitting is admitting it needs to be done. There are a lot of options that you and your doctor can discuss that can help you stop. All you need to do is ask. You’re never too old to quit.

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