“Quitting Smoking for Older Adults” New NIH Resource The National Institutes of Health has released a new Web resource to help older adults stop smoking. Quitting Smoking for Older Adults, from NIHSeniorHealth, offers videos, worksheets, interactive features, strategies, quizzes, and more for older smokers who want to or are thinking of quitting. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable, premature death and illness in the United States, responsible for almost half a million deaths each year. In addition to lung and other cancers, smoking can cause heart disease, stroke, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, commonly known as COPD. The recent Surgeon GeneralÛªs report, The Health Consequences of Smoking – 50 Years of Progress , provides new data that links smoking to bone disease, cataract, diabetes, macular degeneration, and erectile dysfunction. Research shows that people who quit smoking, regardless of their age, are less likely than those who continue to smoke to die from smoking-related illness. Nearly 10 percent of adults over 65 – almost 4 million older Americans – continue to smoke. ÛÏMost older adults know that smoking is harmful, and many have tried unsuccessfully to quit, often a number of times. But stopping smoking is a difficult goal that still eludes many older smokers,Û says Erik Augustson, program director of the Tobacco Control Research Branch at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which developed the topic for NIHSeniorHealth. ÛÏThis new topic, which offers a mix of tips and tools geared to the needs and experiences of older smokers, is an important, easy-to-use resource that can benefit those trying to quit for the first time as well as those who have tried before.Û NCI has also included information about the challenges and advantages of quitting when youÛªre older, smokingÛªs effect on medications, and how to handle withdrawal, cravings, and more. NIHSeniorHealth, a joint effort of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM), components of NIH, is designed to be senior friendly and tailored to the cognitive and visual needs of older adults. The short, easy-to-read segments of information, large print, opened captioned videos, and simple navigation make the information on the site easy for older adults to find, see, and understand.