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If you smoke, quit. Smoking raises your risk for health conditions and diseases not only for you, but also for your surrounding loved ones. There isn't a better time to quit than now. Here are five major benefits associated with kicking the habit:

Live Longer and Be Healthier

  • Lower risk for heart attacks and strokes​ – Non-smokers are 2 to 4 times less likely to develop heart disease and 2 times less likely to have a stroke than smokers. One year after you stop smoking, the risk of having a heart attack or stroke will drop by more than half.
  • Lower risk for cancer – Quit smoking to decrease your risk of developing these cancers: lung, bladder, kidney, larynx, pancreas, stomach, and cervix. Women who have never smoked are 12 times less likely and men who have never smoked are 23 times less likely to develop lung cancer than those who smoke.
  • Lower risk for asthma attacks
  • Lower risk for respiratory disease, like emphysema and chronic bronchitis

Feel Better

  • Have fewer colds, sore throats, and respiratory infections
  • Breathe easier
  • Have a healthy sense of smell and taste

Look and Smell Better

  • Healthier looking teeth and skin
  • Not smelling like smoke
  • Good breath
  • Healthy gums
  • Less wrinkling of your skin

Save Money

  • Not spending $7 per day on cigarettes means you will have an extra $210 every month and $2,555 a year. Think about what you and your family can buy with these savings.

Create a Healthy Home

  • The baby of a non-smoker gets more oxygen, is more likely to have a healthy birth, doesn't get harmful chemicals passed into its blood, and is more likely to be born at a normal birth weight.
  • Infants and babies who are not around secondhand smoke are less likely to die from SIDS, to get chest colds, ear infections, bronchitis, pneumonia and asthma, and to cry, sneeze and cough.
  • When children grow up in a home with non-smokers, they are more likely not to smoke and young people who do not smoke cigarettes are less likely to try other drugs.

Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you to quit smoking. They will advise on the best program or products that are right for you. In addition, these four steps to help​ you quit​ will help get you started.