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Free Programs

QUITPLAN: a free cessation program available to any Minnesotan who wants to quit tobacco. Call the QUITPLAN Helpline at 1-888-354-PLAN (7526) or visit www.quitplan.com

Health Plan-Sponsored Programs

A Call to Change... Partners in Quitting

Stop-Smoking Plan
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota
"Call a coach" -- personalized program

"Quitting Tobacco Use"
Allina Hospitals & Clinics

Quit Smoking Resources
Minnesota Medical Association

Recovery Timeline

  • Health benefits to smoking cessation may even be realized within just minutes of quitting:
  • Within 20 minutes, heart rate and blood pressure drop.
  • Within 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in the blood drops to normal.
  • Within 2-12 weeks, circulation improves and lung function increases.
  • After 1-9 months, coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
  • After 1 year, the risk of coronary heart disease is about half that of a smoker's.
  • After 5 years, stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker 5 to 15 years after quitting.
  • After 10 years, the risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker and the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decreases.
  • After 15 years, the risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker's.

Quit Smoking Meter

If you have quit smoking, or plan on quitting soon, the Quit Smoking Meter will not only help you to keep track of how many years, months, day, hours, minutes and seconds since you stopped smoking, but it will also help you to track how much money you've saved, how much money your invested savings could be earning and how much time you are adding to your life by choosing to be a non-smoker instead of a smoker.

Tips for Quitting Smoking

  • Maintain Positive Attitude: You are doing something GOOD for yourself. You deserve this! Think of all of the benefits you will experience once you are free of tobacco.
  • Make a List of Reasons to Quit Smoking: List all the reasons why you need to quit smoking. Make a copy of that list and post them to your car, room, office, and every place you spend quality time. Carry a copy of the list with you to review when a nicotine craving hits.
  • Avoid Cigarette Break: Drink orange juice or another healthy beverage instead of taking a cigarette break. Some people have successfully used a few minutes of meditation to get through their normal smoke-break time.
  • Prepare a Game Plan: Many smokers experience several withdrawal symptoms during quit attempts. You need to have a plan on how to deal with those symptoms. Seek out new cessation resources such as support groups and cessation hotlines. Keep phone numbers to these sources with you at all times.
  • Learn How to Deal with Irritability: Most people trying to quit smoking are likely to experience increased irritability. Gather information on how to best manage irritability while quitting smoking. Physical activity and paying attention to your body helps to ďburn offĒ negative emotions. Try a new exercise class, a yoga class, or take up meditation.
  • Always Have Gum, Mints or Hard Candy with You: Dry-mouth is common symptom for those trying to quit nicotine and smoking. Gum helps suppress and ease nicotine cravings during break time or after lunch.
  • Ask for Accountability and Support: Tell your family and friends that youíre going to quit smoking and ask for their support.
  • Celebrate! Trying to quit smoking is a tough job, so you should celebrate each milestone that you achieve. Create a "Freedom Fund" from the money you would have spent on tobacco. Use this fund to treat yourself to a dinner and/or movie with family or friends, purchase new clothes, or take a weekend vacation.
  • Donít Give Up! Most smokers donít quit completely on the first try. If you find yourself smoking again, try adjusting your strategy. Set a goal of not smoking for three days. Then go for a week. Then go for three weeks. See if you can develop a pattern where quit times are longer than relapse times.
  • Go Easy on Yourself. Donít beat yourself up if you find yourself smoking again. No oneís perfect! Quitting smoking is a tough job! Simply review your strategy and go after it again. The more times you try to quit the greater your chances of success. Stick with it!