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Help is available to kick the habit

Johnson City Press - 9/23/2017

Quitting cigarette smoking can be tough, but health officials say it is well worth the effort. It's been shown that smokers who quit at age 35 can add an average of eight years to their lives.

Even those who kick the habit at age 55 gain about five years and even long-term smokers who quit at 65 gain three years.

Kicking the habit not only benefits the person who quits cigarettes, but it also improves the lives of all who come in contact with second-hand smoke.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the number of U.S. adults who smoke continues to decline as more adults successfully quit smoking. Even so, nearly 20 percent of Americans (some of them teenagers) still smoke on a regular basis (some of them teenagers).

The American Cancer Society offers Quit For Life, a program that has helped nearly a million former smokers since it was launched in 2000. By calling 800-227-2345, smokers have access to trained counselors who can help them prepare a plan to quit. Visit cancer.org for more tips on kicking the habit.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says vaping is not a safe alternative to cigarettes and has stepped up its regulations of electronic cigarettes. A FDA study found the liquid in some e-cigarettes contained toxins besides nicotine.

It's also important to stress pregnancy and vaping don't mix. Although e-cigs don't burn, they are nonetheless nicotine-delivery devices that release liquid vapors instead of smoke. Health officials say it's important for expectant mothers to keep in mind nicotine is an addictive substance that is toxic to reproduction and interferes with healthy fetal brain development.

 
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