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Call us at 800-KARMANOS (800-527-6266)

Smoking Cessation

At Karmanos we understand that it is your choice to quit smoking. However, it is a fact that smoking increases your risk for almost every type of cancer, not just lung cancer. Smoking is also harmful to the people around you, especially children. Second-hand smoke, or passive smoking, is linked to many diseases and health problems, including cancer, lung diseases, asthma, ear infections and increased illness in non-smokers.

General benefits of quitting smoking

  • An immediate improvement to your health
  • A better sense of smell and taste, better physical stamina and fewer wrinkles
  • You will also feel better about yourself, set a good example for children and save money

Benefits of quitting smoking for cancer patients

  • Increases chances of surviving the disease
  • Affords a better response to chemotherapy and radiation
  • Reduces the side effects of treatment and allows for quicker healing after surgery
  • Reduces the chance of a cancer recurrence or an additional cancer diagnosis

How Karmanos Can Help

Quitting Tips

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask your family and friends to support you. Ask your spouse or friends to give up candy or another habit in support of you.
  • The urge for a cigarette will pass. Wait 20 minutes. Distract yourself with a healthy snack or a short walk.
  • Most smokers try to quit several times before they are successful. Just because you have quit before doesn’t mean you won’t be successful this time
  • Chew gum, eat sugar-free candy, chew on a straw or cinnamon stick when you have cravings
  • Call a friend or support person when you experience the need to smoke
  • Keep something in your hands like a stress ball, coffee stirrers, etc.
  • Talk to other ex-smokers to see what helped them quit smoking

Did you know?

  • 20 minutes after quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drop
  • 12 hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal
  • 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: Your circulation improves and your lung function increases
  • 1 to 9 months after quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs and reduce the risk of infection
  • 1 year after quitting: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s
  • 5 years after quitting: Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker 5 –15 years after quitting.
  • 10 years after quitting: The lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker’s. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix and pancreas decrease.
  • 15 years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker’s.

Many insurance companies provide coverage for quit tobacco programs & medications.  Check with your individual provider.  Medicaid recipients call 888-367-6557 to check your plan coverage.

For more information call 1-800-KARMANOS and ask for the Patient & Community Education Department or send an e-mail to

© 2014 Karmanos Cancer Institute Pencil
The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center is accredited by The Joint Commission.
If members of the public have any quality-of-care or safety concerns, they may notify The Joint Commission at 630-792-5800.