If you have been fortunate enough to reach retirement or if you are just planning ahead, more than likely you are thinking about maintaining or improving your health. I am sure you are looking forward to enjoying many years of good quality life. If you are currently smoking, quitting will not only positively impact your overall health, it will also affect you financially. Because the cost of cigarettes has increased tremendously over the last several years, you will have considerably less money for your retirement (see the American Heart Association’s “Financial Cost of Smoking Calculator”) if you continue to smoke.
The first step in quitting smoking is often establishing your motivation. Motivation to quit may come from a variety of sources. Even if your physician has not already encouraged you on many occasions to quit smoking for the sake of your health, you probably have given smoking cessation some thought, or it may be something you think about every day. Most likely, family and friends are trying to persuade you to quit as well. Children and grandchildren may be applying pressure to quit. As we get older fewer and fewer of our friends continue to smoke. A recent study indicated that modifying lifestyle factors, such as quitting smoking, can reduce your risk for being admitted to a nursing home. Quitting smoking and living as healthfully as possible can provide the foundation for the retirement you always dreamed of.
Quitting may not be easy, but it’s possible—and worth it. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disability in the US. Making a practical quit plan will add to your success. Research demonstrates that people who plan ahead and use a combination of support and cessation medications can double or triple their chances of success.
Keys to a successful stop-smoking plan include:
1. Setting a firm quit date.
2. Talking to your doctor about effective methods of quitting.
3. Using nicotine-replacement products or other smoking cessation medications.
4. Attending a local smoking-cessation program or support group.
5. Getting help and support from your friends and family.
6. Calling the national smokers’ quitline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW for advice to quit.

Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your health and well being. Be sure to reward yourself for your efforts. Drink plenty of water and eat well. Enjoy the benefits of quitting- breathe better, smell fresher, feel good about yourself, save money, and live longer and healthier!
Check out additional information on maintaining your health.