It’s hard to believe the 2018 Great America Smokeout is right around the corner. Always celebrated the third Thursday of November, the Smokeout is a great time to give up nicotine for one day. That one day could turn into a lifetime quit and a healthier lifestyle.
The Smokeout started as an event in Massachusetts in 1970, and by 1977 the American Cancer Society had taken it nationwide making this the 43rd year. Quitting is hard, but with support, you too can be successful. There are many ways to quit and everyone is different, but the best way is to start with a plan. Here are some ways of quitting to consider according to WebMD:
– Cold turkey. About 90% of people who try to quit do it without outside help, but it isn’t considered the most successful method.
– Behavioral therapy. Working with a counselor can help you pinpoint your triggers that make you want to smoke. Together you can make a plan to help you through the cravings.
– Nicotine replacement therapy. This method involves using a product that gives you the nicotine without using tobacco. It works best if you use this method along with behavioral therapy as this method isn’t intended to be used as a permanent replacement for tobacco.
– Medications. Prescription medications, such as bupropion and varenicline (Chantix), are available to help you through cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Chantix is a nicotine-free pill that can be taken for 3 or 6 months as you wean yourself off smoking. As these meds are by prescription only, discuss the use with your doctor.
– Combination therapies. Everyone is different, and you may need to use more than one method to help you have a successful quit. Don’t give up.
Your employer may be able to provide you with information and your health insurance may pay for medications. There are also many websites that provide helpful information and phone numbers to talk to a quit specialist. One such number is the American Cancer Society’s Quit For Life 1-866-784-8454. Here in Florida, Tobacco Free Florida is ready to help you with Quit Your Way at 1-877-822-6669.
Whether you smoke, chew or vape, giving it up for one day will start you on a healthy life journey. We provide information without endorsing any particular program and provide links to help you get started.
Kill The Can – a resource to quit dip and chewing tobacco by former users
Smokefree.gov – this site also provides information for vets, women, teens, those over 60, and offers information in Spanish.
QuitNet – an app for your phone.
UCanQuit2 – an education campaign for the U.S. military