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Lesson One:



It is safe to assume that by enrolling in this program, you are trying (or someone else wants you) to quit nicotine. You may be looking forward to the health benefits that you, your coworkers, your family, and even your pets will receive if you quit. On the other hand, you may be looking forward to saving money, increasing your freedom, or even improving your appearance. Everyone has a different motivation for quitting, and reminding yourself of these goals will help you stay on track. As you move through this lesson, try making a list of every reason you want to quit. If you need help getting started, ask yourself the following questions:


What are the negatives to my nicotine addiction?


What do I miss out on because of nicotine?


What does my use of nicotine do to my family, friends, pets, or myself?


How will my life improve if I quit nicotine?


Once you have your list, keep it with you at all times. Whenever you are struggling, read it over again. Keep your priorities in mind to avoid falling back into old habits.

Why quit?


The reasons are endless!


According to, individuals who quit smoking have a decreased chance of getting cancer, having a heart attack, or developing heart disease. You will be less likely to catch a flue or a cold, and you will recover more quickly. Your blood pressure will drop, your skin will look healthier, and you will be able to breathe easier.


As discussed by, nicotine can cause higher blood lead concentrations, affect muscle function, and possibly lead to paralysis or asphyxiation. Further, the CDC National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) showed that forms of smokeless tobacco can cause cancers of the mouth, esophagus, and pancreas. 

Nicotine can affect the people around you as well. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, secondhand smoke causes over 33,000 deaths each year from heart disease alone. It is estimated that secondhand smoke also causes upwards of 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections in children each year, resulting in thousands of hospitalizations. It is also responsible for hundreds of sudden infant death syndrome cases annually.


If you have pets, smoking has been linked to certain cancers in dogs and cats, allergy flare ups in dogs, and even skin and eye problems in birds. Nicotine in all forms can be toxic to pets. It is estimated that only 5 milligrams per pound of your dog is needed to have toxic effects, and less can cause illness. Considering the average cigarette has about 12 grams of nicotine, a smaller dog could experience fatal effects from ingestion of only 4 cigarettes. Cigarette butts can contain an average of 4-8 milligrams, so the same small dog could experience the same affect from 6-7 cigarette butts. Finally, a single 1.2oz can of snuff could contain enough nicotine to kill more than three medium sized dogs. How confident are you that your pet could never reach the ash tray? Is it worth risking their life?

Please view this website to see how smoking can affect your appearance. While the website focuses on the effects of smoking, many of the effects of other forms of nicotine usage can be very similar.


Click here to visit the website



As mentioned in the beginning of this lesson, take some time to begin creating your quit list. This list should contain all of the reasons that you want to quit nicotine. Remember, this is only a start of the list. This week, we focused on the negative impacts that nicotine may have on your life. Next week, we will focus on the positives that you experience when you quit - and you can add to your list. Keep this list handy and use it for motivation when you need it. Feel free to amend it whenever you find another reason to quit. If you need help getting started, please see the example list below:


1. I want to protect my family from the negative impacts of secondhand smoke.

2. I want to save money.

3. I want to be able to walk further without getting winded.

4. I want freedom from my cravings.