November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking and provide smokers with effective tools to quit. Smoking is the primary cause of lung cancer, which in turn is the leading cause of cancer death and the second most common cancer among American men and women.

Smoking and lung cancer quick facts

The impacts of smoking and lung cancer are far-reaching. Did you know?

  • About 200,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with lung cancer each year, taking the lives of more than 150,000 people.
  • Cigarette smoking is linked to 80 to 90 percent of lung cancers.
  • Breathing in secondhand smoke is equivalent to smoking. Each year, nearly 7,400 nonsmokers, including people who have never smoked, die from lung cancer due to secondhand smoke.
  • Smoking can cause cancer in the mouth and throat, esophagus, stomach, colon, rectum, liver, pancreas, larynx (voice box), trachea, kidney, bladder, cervix and almost any part of the body. 

Tips to quit smoking for good

Quitting smoking may seem impossible at first, but with the right support and tools, you can form a plan to overcome the cravings and live tobacco-free. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Know why you want to quit

Your reasons for quitting smoking can help you stick to a cessation plan. Are you quitting for health reasons? To save money? To keep your family safe?

  • Identify triggers

Smoking triggers are the things that make you feel like smoking. They can be people, places or activities. Know your smoking triggers so you can avoid them or make a plan to deal with them.

  • Anticipate cravings

You know you’re going to have them — short but intense cravings for a cigarette. Plan to overcome cravings by creating a list of activities to overcome the urge to smoke.

  • Explore nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)

The effects of nicotine withdrawal, especially during the first few weeks of quitting, can be intense. Many people choose NRT to reduce irritability, depression and nervousness, and the frustration of sleepless nights. Studies show NRT can double the chances of quitting smoking for good. NRT comes in the form of gum, patches, nasal spray, inhalers and lozenges.

  • Don’t go cold turkey

Instead, investigate smoking cessation options such as SmokefreeTXT text message program, QuitGuide app and Quitlines like 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) and 1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848).

  • Tell your family and friends

Reach out to family and friends and make them part of your plan. Share your smoking triggers, so you have support in avoiding and handling them, and ask friends to help you through any setbacks. Quitting smoking is easier when the people in your life support you.

Complete support and preferred cancer care in New Jersey.

If you are a smoker and are concerned about your risk for lung cancer, or have been diagnosed with cancer of any type, know that the highest standard of care is nearby.

At Regional Cancer Care Associates of Central New Jersey, our recognized team of physicians is experienced, knowledgeable and compassionate. Treating you as a whole person and taking into account the mental, physical and spiritual factors allows our doctors to care for you with the deepest possible understanding and expertise.

To learn more or schedule an appointment, call 909-536-1493 or click here to use our online form.

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