Want to quit smoking? 5 questions to ask your doctor

The single greatest step you can take to protecting your health is to quit using tobacco. Tobacco is responsible for one-third of all cancers, including approximately 90% of all lung cancers. Tobacco alone is estimated to claim nearly half a million lives in the US each year. But it can be difficult to quit smoking. It requires dedication, support and planning. In fact, many patients find it helpful to speak with a doctor or tobacco cessation counselor beforehand to get help and support to successfully quit. Below, two experts from MD Anderson’s Tobacco Treatment Program offer questions to ask your doctor and some information to consider when thinking about trying to quit. Maher Karam-Hage, M.D., is professor of Behavioral Science and associate medical director of our Tobacco Treatment Program. Diane Beneventi, Ph.D., is the supervising behavioral Psychologist in our Tobacco Treatment Program. How hard is it to quit smoking and how long should I expect this to take? It can be very difficult to quit, but the process is different for each person. The important thing to know is we have proven treatments that work. Some people may have several quit attempts before they quit for good. This shouldn’t discourage you! Research has shown that people who have previously quit are more likely to achieve long-term success on their next attempts than people who have never tried. The important thing is to keep working toward your goal to quit smoking.  What are the biggest steps I can take to increase my chances of success? There are several things you can do to increase your chances of success. It’s ideal...