In what can be scary news for smokers, a recent sobering study found that even puffing socially (five or fewer per day) can cause just as much lung damage that’s found in heavy smokers (a pack or more a day).

This study exemplifies the need for everyone to quit smoking, no matter how many they partake in. The American Lung Association calls quitting smoking the single most important step a smoker can take to improve the health and quality of their life.

Corning Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing has details on the American Lung Association’s top five tips for quitting for good.

1.       Motivation Is Key

Most will only begin the journey of quitting smoking once they are properly motivated. This may include the birth of a family member, the diagnosis of a health problem, or the death of someone close due to a smoking-related illness. It’s important to focus on your motivators when you feel defeated or low during the journey.

2.       Get Your Doctor’s Input

Your doctor will likely be thrilled about your decision and will do anything they can to help. This includes prescribing FDA-approved medications to help you kick the habit.

3.       You’re Not Alone!

Enlist in the help of family and friends to help motivate you and keep you honest. You can also use this guide from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to find support groups, both in-person and online.

4.       Focus on Cost Savings

The average cost of a pack of cigarettes in the U.S. is $8. Depending on how much you smoke, the savings will really add up. Plan a vacation or a fun purchase for yourself with the money you save and use that destination as a motivator during your journey.

5.       It’s Never Too Late to Quit

It is definitely best to quit smoking as soon as possible to limit the possibility of long-term lung damage, but quitting at any age will cause no more further damage to be done and will most likely lengthen your life.

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