Suffering from a Smoking Slip-Up (Heart Health)

Suffering from a Smoking Slip-Up (Heart Health)

Quitting smoking greatly reduces your risk of heart disease and other serious health problems. Just one year after you stop smoking, your heart disease risk could drop by more than half. Within several years, you should have the same heart disease risk as someone who has never smoked. The message is clear: No matter how long you have been smoking, quitting will lessen your chances of developing heart disease.

There is nothing easy, however, about giving up cigarettes. Most smokers attempt to quit more than once. In fact, many try three to five times before they can quit for good. If you slip, here are some tips to get back on the nonsmoking track:

Don’t be discouraged. Having a cigarette or two doesn’t mean you can’t quit smoking. A slip happens to many, many people who successfully quit. Keep thinking of yourself as a nonsmoker. You are one.
Learn from experience. What was the trigger that made you light up? Were you driving home from work, having a glass of wine at a party, feeling angry with your boss? Think back on the day’s events until you remember what the trigger was.

Take charge. Write a list of things you will do the next time you face that “trigger” situation — and other tempting situations as well. Sign a new contract with your support person to show yourself how determined you are to kick the habit.

It takes determination to stop any type of addiction, but the struggle is well worth it. Your heart will thank you someday.

B-man :wink: