Don't get left out into the cold




 

Whether it's the sprint from the car or the jog from the front door, many of us do our best to avoid the outdoors as the temperatures plummet. But, regardless of how frigid it gets, there is one lonely group that is often huddled outside– smokers. While battling the elements may be reason enough for some smokers to quit, it is the serious health consequences that often provide real motivation to kick the habit.

Prolonged smoking can cause lung cancer, heart attacks and commonly leads to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, causes symptoms like shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing up phlegm. If you are suffering from these symptoms, be sure to speak to your physician about a COPD assessment and finding the right treatment options for you.

If you are currently a smoker, one of the best things you can do for your health is taking steps to stop. Quitting is possible with the right combination of planning and persistence. Here are five tips that can help you achieve success:

1. Focus on your goal. Write down a short list of reasons why you're quitting. Be proud of your decision to quit and stay positive through this process.

2. Remove reminders. Dispose of your remaining cigarettes, ashtrays and other obvious reminders. Consider cleaning your home – remember that even the smell can remind you of smoking.

3. Get some help. Support can go a long way to helping you succeed. Talk to your friends and family about what you're doing or consider joining a support group.

4. Reward yourself. Quitting isn't easy and it's important to reward yourself when reaching key milestones. Consider treating yourself with a night out at your favourite restaurant or an activity you've always wanted to try.

5. Recover from a relapse. Quitting smoking can often be an ongoing process, so if you slip up, start again. This is particularly important for people living with respiratory illnesses, like COPD, since quitting smoking can help alleviate symptoms and may slow down the progression of the disease.


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