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You Know You Should Quit Smoking, So What’s the Hold up?

Smoking increases your risk for health problems and diseases. Also keep in mind that the average smoker who is actually able to live to age 75 has 5.8 fewer teeth than a non-smoker. Along with highly addictive nicotine, cigarette smoke contains a deadly mix of more than 7,000 chemicals.

You can do it! Smokers can and do quit smoking. Today there are more former smokers than current smokers! Though the health benefits are greater for people who stop earlier, quitting has benefits at any age. Remember that you are never too old to quit.

It takes more than a day, but quitting does wonders within minutes and hours of your last smoke.


  • 20 minutes: Blood pressure, pulse rate and temperature of hands and feet have returned to normal.
  • 12 hours: Blood oxygen & carbon monoxide levels have returned to normal.
  • 24 hours: Anxieties relating to quitting have peaked.
  • 48 hours: Damaged nerve endings start to regrow. Sense of smell & taste begin to return.
  • 72 hours: Your entire body will test 100% nicotine-free!
  • 10 days: The average ex-user is down to less than two cravings per day, each less than only 3 minutes.
  • 10 days - 2 weeks: Blood circulation in gums is now similar to a non-user.
  • 2 - 4 weeks: Cessation-related anger, anxiety, insomnia, restlessness and depression have ended.
  • 2 weeks - 3 months: Heart attack risk has declined and lung function begins to improve.
  • 3 weeks - 3 months: Circulation improves and walking is easier. Any chronic cough has likely disappeared.
  • 8 weeks: Insulin resistance has normalized.
  • 1 - 9 months: Overall energy is increasing.
  • 1 year: Risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke is now equal to less than half that of a smoker.
  • 10 years: Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus and pancreas has declined. Risk of developing diabetes is now similar to that of a never-smoker.


Build Your Quit Plan
One of the keys to a successful quit is preparation. These steps will guide you to create your own customized quit plan:

  • Pick a Quit Date. When it comes to choosing a date, sooner is better than later. Plan it out and write it somewhere you will see it everyday.
  • Let Loved Ones Know You Are Quitting. Support is a huge benefit!
  • Remove Reminders of Smoking. Get rid of cigarettes, matches, ashtrays and lighters. Make your surroundings clean and fresh to avoid triggering a craving.
  • Identify Your Reasons to Quit. Everyone has his or her own reasons for quitting. Any time you feel the urge to smoke, review your reasons.
  • Manage Cravings It might be uncomfortable, but here are a few things to try to get through cravings:
  • Call or text someone.
  • Watch a funny video.
  • Go for a walk or jog, or go up and down the stairs! Any activity, even in short bursts can help beat a craving.
  • Calculate your savings. Cigarettes are really expensive!
  • Chew gum or drink water.
  • Do something else. Changing your routine can help.
  • Take slow, deep breaths. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Repeat until you're feeling more relaxed.
  • Visit a public place since most won't allow you to smoke
  • Don't Give Up

There are places you can turn to for help and Regional Health Clinic is here when you are ready. Regional is a Federally Qualified Health Center in Northwest Indiana. Our goal is to provide the community with affordable, accessible healthcare. Indiana state Medicaid programs can also maximize tobacco cessation among Medicaid enrollees. At Regional, a representative is available on-site for patients to help navigate the benefits that you may be eligible to receive. Regional Health Clinic has three locations in Northwest Indiana with staff on-site to help you kick the habit:

559 State Street in Hammond, Indiana
4022 Hohman Avenue in North Hammond, Indiana
3903 Indianapolis Blvd in East Chicago, Indiana
Remember, quitting smoking happens one minute, one hour, one day at a time. You can do it!

To schedule an appointment to shake your smoking addiction, please call Regional Health Clinic at 219-937-3300 or visit rhchammond.com for more information.

Regional Mental Health
Strawhun Center
8555 Taft Street Merrillville, IN 46410 219-769-4005
Outpatient Services
5900 Hohman Avenue Hammond, IN 46320 219-931-0427
2600 Highway Ave. Highland, IN 46322 219-972-0131
1441 East 84th Place Merrillville, IN 46410 219-794-2000
7783 E. Ridge Road Hobart, IN 46342 219-795-8660
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