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Is it too late to quit smoking?

Here are some tough questions and answers that you need to
consider before you start on this path

1.   Is it too
late for seniors to quit smoking? No, it’s never too late to quit smoking.
Regardless of your age, quitting smoking has immediate and long-term health
benefits. Within just 20 minutes of quitting, your heart rate and blood
pressure decrease. After one year of quitting, your risk of coronary heart
disease is half that of a smoker. Quitting at any age can add years to your
life and improve your quality of life.

2.   How Hard
will it be to quit smoking? Quitting smoking can be challenging, but the
benefits of a smoke-free life far outweigh the difficulties of quitting. The
level of difficulty varies from person to person, depending on factors such as
the number of years you’ve smoked, the number of cigarettes you smoke per day,
and your level of dependency on nicotine. Preparing for the quitting process,
understanding your triggers, and seeking support can significantly increase
your chances of success.

3.   How can
seniors manage withdrawal symptoms during the quitting process? Managing
withdrawal symptoms is crucial for a successful quit attempt. Some strategies

    • Nicotine
      replacement therapy (NRT), such as gum, lozenges, patches, or prescription
      medications, can help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
    • Develop
      a support system of friends, family, or a quitline counselor.
    • Identify
      and avoid triggers that prompt you to smoke.
    • Engage
      in healthy activities, such as exercise, meditation, or hobbies, to
      distract yourself from cravings.
    • Stay
      hydrated and maintain a balanced diet.

4.   Are there
specific support groups or programs tailored for seniors who want to quit
smoking? Yes, there are support groups and programs designed specifically for
seniors. Here are a few resources:

    • Smokefree60+:
      A CDC resource that provides information and tips for seniors who want to
      quit smoking.
    • Nicotine
      Anonymous: A 12-step program for those seeking support in quitting
    • Your
      healthcare provider or local hospital may offer smoking cessation programs
      tailored for seniors.

5.   How can you
tell if you are ready to take the first step towards a healthier, smoke-free
life? You may be ready to quit smoking if you:

    • Understand
      the health risks associated with smoking and are motivated to reduce those
    • Have a
      strong desire to improve your quality of life and overall health.
    • Are
      willing to seek support and utilize resources to help you quit.
    • Have a
      plan in place, including setting a quit date, identifying triggers, and
      managing withdrawal symptoms.
    • Are
      prepared to make a commitment to yourself to quit smoking for good.

    Originally Published on

    I served as a teacher, a teacher on Call, a Department Head, a District Curriculum, Specialist, a Program Coordinator, and a Provincial Curriculum Coordinator over a forty year career. In addition, I was the Department Head for Curriculum and Instruction, as well as a professor both online and in person at the University of Phoenix (Canada) from 2000-2010.

    I also worked with Special Needs students. I gave workshops on curriculum development and staff training before I fully retired

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