Source: Atlantic Drugs

By: Susan Ray

Smoking cessation funding has been cut to its lowest level since 1999.

Despite 20% of the population smoking, the same percentage that were in 2006, the current economic climate and other factors have caused states to reduce funding for stop smoking initiatives.

Around $517 million has been allocated in the fiscal year 2011, which is down 9.2% from the previous year, and 28% less than in 2009.

Alarm

Public health groups are alarmed that people who are looking to quit smoking may now not get the help that they need. There are around 46 million smokers across America, all at an increased risk of developing serious health problems like lung and mouth cancer, and heart disease. Smoking is the biggest cause of preventable death in the US and is responsible for one in five deaths. About 8.6 million people suffer from smoking-related lung and heart disease. Smokers are twice as likely to die from heart attacks in comparison with non-smokers.

Most important step

The US Surgeon General has said, “Smoking cessation (stopping smoking) represents the single most important step that smokers can take to enhance the length and quality of their lives.”

Quitting smoking can be difficult. Some smokers find that the nicotine addictions make it too hard to give up. For others, the mental cravings to smoke are a greater problem. Research has shown that quitting smoking is more ‘mind over matter’ for many people, and that overcoming psychological desires to smoke cigarettes is a large part of giving up. Some smokers find that the anti-smoking medication Champix helps with their smoking cessation efforts.

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