| Thu, Nov 16, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Smoking Still Kills, 50 Years Later

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

females chat on porch assetID37792You probably already know the many reasons to quit smoking. We’ve had 50 years of public health education about it since the 1964 Surgeon General’s Report first linked smoking to lung cancer. So rather than rehash what you may have heard many times before, we’re going to give it to you straight from the horse’s mouth.

We asked visitors to the Medicare Made Clear Facebook page this question: If you are a former smoker, what advice or tips do you have for someone who wants to quit?

We appreciate the many responses we received. Here are just some of them.

“I stopped 20 years ago on Valentine’s Day because I could not stop coughing… I would wake up coughing and the only way I could stop was to light up. That’s when my wife said if you don’t stop you will never see our sons graduate high school. I got on the patch and quit. I did see my sons graduate high school and college. That was my incentive and my reward.”

“Willpower; u have 2 WANT to quit! I quit 37 yrs. ago, when I found out I was pregnant.”

“Look at someone who is on oxygen because they cannot breathe on their own and know that every cigarette makes it more likely you will get to this state.”

“Your children are more important than your habit.”

Some people (mostly smokers, perhaps) say there is nothing worse than a former smoker. Yet who can better understand how difficult and frustrating quitting can be? Maybe something one of these former smokers wrote hit home for you.

More than 20 million Americans have died because of smoking since the 1964 Surgeon General’s Report1. Fifty years later, lung cancer is the leading cause, and the most preventable form, of cancer death in the United States for both men and women2. And still 42 million American adults and about 3 million middle and high school students continue to smoke1.

What’s wrong with this picture?

If you are ready to quit, or you want to help someone else take the first step, help is available.

  • Medicare Part B pays 80% of the Medicare-approved amount for up to 8 face-to-face quit smoking counseling sessions in a 12-month period.
  • SmokeFree.gov offers online and other help that you can choose from based on your individual needs.
  • SmokefreeTXT is a service that sends support and tips via text messages to help you quit.
  • Quit Plan offers information, telephone support, apps and other resources to help you on the road to a smoke-free life.

For more information, explore MedicareMadeClear.com or contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.


Surgeon General’s Report: Get the fast facts from the 2014 Report, with new information about the health effects of smoking.

American Cancer Society: Learn more about tobacco-related cancers.

Medicare & You: Get the U.S. government’s official Medicare handbook.


1. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2014

2. Cancer Facts & Figures 2013, American Cancer Society, 2014


Y0066_140207_140632 Accepted

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