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Here’s what happens when you quit smoking and how to get help

Mar 3, 2022, 08:00 AM

Quitting tobacco is hard. If you’ve ever tried before, you know exactly how tough it can be. Maybe you’ve tried to quit smoking by hypnosis, or by using a nicotine patch? Perhaps this is your first time trying? Either way, you know the benefits of quitting smoking far outweigh the consequences.

Stopping tobacco use — including smoking cigarettes, using e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco — is one of the best steps you can take toward better health. Here are seven things you’ll want to know if you commit to a smoking-cessation program:

  1. Plan and prepare a timeline for quitting smoking or chewing
  2. Pick a quit date
  3. Understand nicotine withdrawal
  4. Get support
  5. Learn new skills and behaviors
  6. Ask your physician about medication
  7. Be prepared for a relapse

What happens when you quit smoking?

  • 24 hours after you stop smoking, your chance of heart attack goes down
  • In the first year, oral health improves, and you have fewer symptoms of gum disease
  • Within months, your lungs are working better, improving your overall health
  • After a year without smoking, you have half as much risk of heart disease

There are many ways to stop smoking, all fully covered for our members:

Your care team

Any provider — physical, mental or dental — would be happy to help you stop smoking. They can help you find good, local programs that work for you and are fully covered. They can also help you decide which medication (such as a nicotine patch or gum) may be a good match for you.

Oregon Tobacco Quit Line

The Quit Line is a free counseling service offered by phone and online chat. Get started at quitnow.net/oregon or 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669). This is a covered benefit our members may use twice in a 12-month period.

Smokefree.gov

smokefree.gov is a national program that offers various tools to help you stop smoking, including online chat and free, encouraging text messages. It’s free to our members. Visit the website and choose the service you want to try.

You are more likely to successfully stop smoking or chewing tobacco if you get help. Using services and medication to stop doubles your chances of being smoke free in the long term.

Questions?

If you have any questions about how to stop using tobacco, or need any other help, call Columbia Pacific CCO Customer Service at 855-722-8206 or TTY 711, or send us a secure message through the member portal: colpachealth.org/for-members/member-portal