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Smoking is highly addictive, and, over time, takes a major toll on the body. Smoking and other forms of tobacco use are among the top preventable causes of death and disease in the United States. Smoking cessation is the use of one or more methods to quit smoking.
Quitting smoking now can decrease your risk of getting smoking-related illnesses such as:
- Heart disease
- Several types of cancer
- Chronic lung diseases, such as bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma
- Macular degeneration
- Thyroid conditions
- Hearing loss
- Erectile dysfunction
Also, because second-hand smoke is harmful, quitting smoking enhances the health of the people around you.
Using behavior change to quit smoking should have few or no side effects, aside from the symptoms of withdrawal. Because smoking affects metabolism and may be a replacement for eating, some people do find that they gain weight when they quit. Make sure that you are eating well and exercising to help bring your body back to a healthy balance.
On the other hand, smoking cessation drugs and other drugs used to help people quit smoking all have potential risks and side effects. This is true for over-the-counter as well as prescription products. For instance, smoking and using nicotine replacement products can be dangerous because nicotine can build up to toxic levels.
See individual products for specific information on side effects, warnings, and potential interactions.