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More than 8 million people die each year from tobacco. While it’s not easy, quitting can help you live a healthier and longer life.

“Quitting is the best thing you can do to protect and improve your health,” says Gundersen wellness education specialist Amanda Westphal.

Here is some advice if you want to quit using tobacco.

Talk to your primary care provider

The best place to start is by talking to your primary care provider. They can refer you to services and resources that have been proven to help many people quit using tobacco, such as:

  • Counseling and Quit Coaches
  • Nicotine replacement products and medications that help you quit

Join a class or support group

There are many classes and support groups available to help you quit tobacco. Gundersen offers the following:

  • Getting you started to stop - Four weekly classes to help you develop a plan.
  • If you’re pregnant and live in Wisconsin, you can join the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation’s First Breath Program.

It’s not too late to stop using tobacco

“It’s never too late to stop tobacco. You see benefits fairly quickly and then the longer you don’t use tobacco products, the more health benefits you see,” Amanda says.

Some of the health benefits of quitting include:

  • Reduce risk of premature death
  • Reduce risk of cardiovascular diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cancer
  • Improved reproductive health
  • Save money typically spent on tobacco products

For more information to help you quit, Gundersen’s tobacco cessation page can help.

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