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Quitting tobacco is the single most important thing you can do to improve your health.4 As soon as an individual quits, the body begins to heal3 however, the benefits of quitting are not limited to improvements in physical health – there are numerous psychological benefits as well.

According to the British Medical Journal, smoking cessation is associated with reduced depression, anxiety, and stress and improved positive mood and quality of life compared with continuing to smoke.1 There may be some initial feelings of stress and anxiety as an individual adjusts to a tobacco free life, however, research supports that those feelings are a temporary result of changing habits and adjusting to new behaviors.

Tobacco cessation services provided during addictions treatment enhances rather than compromises long-term sobriety. In fact, participation in smoking cessation efforts while engaged in other substance abuse treatment has been associated with a 25% greater likelihood of long-term abstinence from alcohol and other drugs.2

Some tobacco cessation services have no charge associated with them! Gulfcoast South Area Health Education Center (GSAHEC), as part of the Tobacco Free Florida AHEC Cessation Program — offers free tobacco cessation sessions that are available to help someone quit all forms of tobacco.  These group cessation sessions, held virtually and in-person, provide information about the effects of tobacco use, the benefits of quitting, and will assist you with developing your own customized quit plan. Free nicotine replacement therapy in the form of patches, gum or lozenges (if medically appropriate and while supplies last) are provided with the session. Attendees will also receive a participant workbook, quit kit materials, and follow up support from a trained tobacco treatment specialist. Contact us today at 866-534-7909 or visit our page schedule a class or learn more about the program!

Smoking is associated with suicide risk, and the heaviest smokers have the highest risk. Quitting smoking improves overall quality of life which positively impacts mental health, including suicide risk.5

In addition to improvements in mental health, there are numerous benefits to physical health that accompany quitting tobacco. Quit tobacco today and join many other ex-tobacco users as they savor these benefits for years to come!



1Change in mental health after smoking cessation: systematic review and meta-analysis, Taylor et al.

2Catherine Theresa Baca, M.D., Carolina E. Yahne, Ph.D. Smoking cessation during substance abuse treatment: What you need to know, Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 36 (2009) 205–219



5 Tools to Quit: Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Cessation Program Participant Toolkit. Area Health Education Centers. 2018.