The Smoking Gun

2014-11-19

According to the Centers for Disease Control, "Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in the United States." Over 42 million Americans smoke, and nearly 80 percent of those have a daily habit.

Here are a few more staggering smoking stats:

  • Twenty percent of men smoke, compared to 15 percent of women.
  • Cigarette smoking is the cause of 480,000 deaths per year (about 1 in 5).
  • The highest percentages of adults who smoke are between the ages of 25-44.
  • Sixty-five percent of adults who smoke have a GED or did not earn a high school diploma.
  • On average, a smoker will live 13-14 years less than someone who doesn't smoke.

Did you know that smoking also affects your insurance?

New healthcare laws set to go into effect in 2015 give smokers another major incentive to quit. Under current guidelines, smokers already pay around 15 to 20 percent more for health insurance than non-smokers. According to the new regulations, smokers can be charged up to 50 percent extra for their health insurance premiums.

Ready to quit?

Quitting smoking is tough because it involves physical, emotional, and mental withdrawal.

But you can do it.

On Nov. 20, 2014, the American Cancer Society and other organizations will come together to raise awareness and provide assistance to smokers who want to quit. Organizers suggest using this day as a starting point for recovery. If you are ready to quit, there are tons of resources out there to help you make the leap. Here are a few:

Plan ahead: Start by creating a "quit plan," which might include your motivation and potential rewards for quitting, identify triggers and supports. Create a plan to quit smoking

Make it manageable: Quitting for the rest of your life can be an overwhelming and scary idea to someone who is addicted. Instead, make a commitment to be smoke-free for just one day, and then get up the next day and try it again.

Expect withdrawal symptoms: The first few days or weeks after you decide to quit may be the most difficult, as your body and mind adjust to life without nicotine. Depression, irritability, disrupted sleep and foggy thinking are all symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. Try to remember that the discomfort will pass. Learn more about how to handle withdrawal.

Find support: Seek out friends and family members who will help and encourage you through the process. Use peer-support groups and other therapeutic resources to help you deal with the emotional and mental ups and downs that are a normal part of quitting.

For more information and resources on how to quit smoking, visit these links:

Or get connected to your state quit line by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW

For any insurance questions, call or contact Executive Insurance & Financial Services today.

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