Here's even more incentive to quit for good: As of April 1, the federal excise tax on cigarettes will increase from 39 cents to $1 a pack, in order to fund the State Children's Health Insurance Plan. That's in addition to individual states' excise taxes -- which range from $2.75 per pack in New York to only 7 cents per pack in South Carolina. Although the extra money you'll pay will benefit the health care of uninsured children, you can greatly improve your own children's health -- and your own -- by stopping smoking.
In addition to using the resources at tools at Parents Quit For Good, you can maximize your chance of success by talking to your doctor about over-the-counter or prescription medication. According to a new national survey of more than 1,000 smokers from the American Legacy Foundation, more than 20 percent said that they'd never talked to their health care provider about their smoking. And only 44 percent of smokers who had consulted with their doctor said that they'd been given information about smoking cessation medication. And unfortunately, more than half of respondents admitted that they felt guilty, uneasy, or embarrassed when talking to their doctor about their smoking. "It's clear from this survey that we need to change the way people think about quitting, and help them realize that nicotine addiction is a chronic medical problem that can be overcome with assistance from a health care provider," says Cheryl Healton, Dr. P. H., president and CEO of the American Legacy Foundation, which partnered with Parents to create Parents Quit For Good.
Your doctor is there to help you -- so take advantage of the support she can provide.
And some good news: A study published in the British Medical Journal found that women who quit smoking before their 15th week of pregnancy reduce their risk of preterm birth and having a baby with a low birth weight to that of non-smokers.
Copyright © 2009 Meredith Corporation.