Get Ready…Set…Quit!

The American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout is the perfect starting point.

You may already know that smoking causes immediate damage to your body and that it threatens your future with increased risks for cancer, heart attack, lung disease, and early death. But did you know that one group of people especially vulnerable to high rates of smoking are adults with mental distress* disorders and people with mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression? More than 3 in every 10 cigarettes smoked by adults in the United States are smoked by persons with mental health conditions.

Running helped Rebecca to manage stress and depression and to stay smokefree.
Running helped Rebecca to manage stress and depression and to stay smokefree.

Rebecca’s Story: Rebecca started smoking cigarettes as a teenager and eventually used cigarettes to help her cope with depression. Since quitting smoking, Rebecca has a new outlook on life. She began running while taking her grandson along for a ride in his stroller. This helped her to manage stress and depression and to stay smokefree. “Running became the way I felt better,” Rebecca says. “When I have a bad day or feel a little stressed out, I just go for a run and I’m back on track. “Rebecca’s story is included in CDC’s national tobacco education campaign, Tips From Former Smokers™, and in a video entitled “Rebecca’s Tip.”

* Psychological distress is measured by levels of sadness, nervousness, restlessness, worthlessness, and feeling like everything is an effort.

Why Do You Want to Quit?

Perhaps you want to live a healthier life, live longer for your family members, or save the money that you’d typically spend on cigarettes. Write down your reasons for quitting, no matter what motivates you to make this decision. Refer to the list whenever you have the urge to smoke. It will help remind you of all the reasons you want to quit. Rebecca knew quitting would make her feel better mentally and physically. She says, “I finally realized I had to look to myself for my own happiness and health. I had to quit.”

You Can Do It!

Making the decision to quit can help you realize and appreciate your own determination! You have the strength it takes to quit smoking for good. The support provided by the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout doesn’t end when the day is over. The following free resources can help you quit:

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