Center for Health Improvement Nicotine & Vape Cessation Stop Nicotine DependenceNicotine dependence, whether through smoking, vaping or other tobacco use, puts you at risk for a number of chronic conditions, including heart and lung disease. Yet it is a hard habit to break. That's why so many people describe it as a "two-headed monster," or an "800-pound gorilla waiting to jump."We get it. And we know quitting takes a personalized approach."My Path to a Nicotine-Free Future" is a program to help you quit. This program is offered in Branson, Barton County, Monett and Springfield. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to register or find out more. Testimonial What Smoking DoesCigarette smoke damages your lungs and airways. Air passages swell and, over time, you’ll have more and more trouble clearing mucus from your air passages. This can cause a cough that won't go away, which sometimes leads to a lung disease called chronic bronchitis. If you keep smoking, normal breathing may become harder as emphysema develops. In emphysema, your lung tissue is destroyed, making it very hard to get enough oxygen.Smoking can shorten your life. It brings an early death to more than 400,000 people in the United States each year. Lifelong smokers have a 1 in 2 chance of dying from a smoking-related disease. Smoking cuts years off the end of your life. Smoking makes millions of Americans sick by causing:Heart disease. If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol (a fatty substance in the blood) and also smoke, you increase your chance of having a heart attack. Quitting will greatly lower your risk of heart disease.Cancer. Smoking can cause cancer of the lungs, mouth, larynx (voice box), esophagus, stomach, liver, pancreas, kidney, bladder, and cervix. Your chance of getting cancer increases with the more cigarettes you smoke each day and the more years you smoke.Respiratory problems. If you smoke, you are more likely than a non-smoker to get the flu (influenza), pneumonia or other infections that can interfere with your breathing.Osteoporosis. If you are an older woman who smokes, your chance of developing osteoporosis is greater. Women who are past menopause tend to lose bone strength and sometimes develop this bone-weakening disorder. Bones weakened by osteoporosis break more easily. Also, women smokers tend to begin menopause sooner than the average woman, putting them at risk for osteoporosis at an earlier age.Benefits of Quitting SmokingWhether you’re young or old, it's not too late to quit. If you quit you’ll reduce your chance of cancer, heart attack and lung disease; improve your circulation; gain an improved sense of smell and taste; and set a healthy example for your children and grandchildren. What Happens When You Quit> View All After 20 Minutes Your blood pressure and pulse decrease, and the temperature of your hands and feet increases. After 8 Hours The carbon monoxide level in your blood returns to normal and oxygen levels in your blood increase. After 24 Hours Your risk of heart attack decreases. After 48 Hours Your nerve endings adjust to the absence of nicotine and your ability to taste and smell begin to return. After 2 Weeks - 3 Months Your circulation and exercise tolerance improves. After 1 - 9 Months Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath decrease and your overall energy level increases. After 1 Year Your risk of heart disease decreases to half that of a current smoker. After 5 - 15 Years Your risk of stroke is reduced to that of people who have never smoked. After 10 Years Your risk of dying from lung cancer drops to almost the same rate as a lifelong NON-smoker. After 15 Years Your risk of heart disease is reduced to that of people who have never smoked.