11 great reasons

Photo of a bunch of carrots

to quit using tobacco

Quitting tobacco use is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health. You probably have your own reasons to quit, but here are some others to consider.

1. Because life is worth living. Smoking and tobacco use increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, lung cancerthroat cancer, diabetes, emphysema, and many other serious health problems. It is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.

2. Because life is worth living longer. Every cigarette you smoke shortens your life by 11 minutes. That adds up to an average of 11-12 years lost.

3. Your ticker. As soon as you quit, your risk for heart disease begins to go down. After just a year of being smoke-free, your risk of dying from heart disease is cut in half.

4. A healthy pregnancy and baby. Smoking increases the risk of problem pregnancies — affecting both the mother and her unborn baby.

5. A healthy sex life. Tobacco use can cause erectile dysfunction, other sexual problems and infertility.

6. Your kids or grandkids. If you use tobacco, your children are more likely to use tobacco. Children of smokers develop more colds, bronchitis, and pneumonia than children of nonsmokers. Learn more about the dangers of breathing secondhand smoke.

7. Your pets. The toxins in secondhand smoke pose a risk not only to humans, but also to animals — including dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, and other beloved pets.

8. The bathroom mirror. Tobacco use can cause wrinkles, dull the skin, and stain your teeth, making you look older than you are.

9. Cleaner air. Smoking harms your family and friends through secondhand smoke. Plus, your home — and everyone in it — will smell better.

10. Smiling with your own teeth. Tobacco use can lead to gum disease and other dental problems. People who use tobacco are twice as likely to lose teeth as people who do not smoke.

11. Cash in your pocket. It's expensive. Quit and do something special with the money you've saved.

Still not convinced? Make your own list, or get more reasons to quit

Get tools and information for quitting in our health encyclopedia.

Sources: American Cancer SocietyKaiser Permanente is not responsible for the content or policies of external Internet sites.; American Lung AssociationKaiser Permanente is not responsible for the content or policies of external Internet sites.Group Health CooperativeKaiser Permanente is not responsible for the content or policies of external Internet sites.

Reviewed by: EW Emanuel, MD, February 2016

Additional Kaiser Permanente reviewers

© 2016 Kaiser Permanente