Eletta M. Hansen: Two thirds of all smokers are considering quitting. 1/4th of those will make a serious quit attempt this year. Only about 7% will be successful on their first try.
Research does suggest that there are both short term and long term benefits to quitting smoking. Within just 24 hours of quitting your risk of heart attack goes down and in 15 years your risk of coronary heart disease is the same as that of a non-smoker.
It's hard to quit, because cigarette smoking is an addiction, it requires more then willpower. You must treat smoking as any other chronic disease. The most important and fundamental thing is your motivation.
People who use medication are twice as successful in quitting, as people who do not. Talk with a Health Care Professional about the medications that are available.
Think about the cravings that will ensue, prepare, get healthy snacks, get gum, enroll on a support group. It's particularly important that you be vigilant about the triggers.
Being around others who smoke, being in smoke filled places, even one puff can cause you to want to smoke more and more. Remember this is a chronic and addicted disease, it may take several attempts and people who fail on their first attempt should not be discouraged.