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Prevention Presents: Want to Quit Smoking?

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 carrie-dowling

Want to Quit Smoking?
Carrie Dowling, OCPSII, LCDCIII, CTTS
Assistant Manager, Prevention Education

Want to quit smoking? There’s an app for that!

In today’s high-tech world, there’s a great new way to get support in your decision to become a non-smoker. The Quit For Life program, provided by the American Cancer Society and Alere Health, have a free apps for your iPhone or Android. This useful app provides daily tips and motivation, cost-savings calculator, and a calendar to track your success.

The National Cancer Institute also has an easy-to-use quit smoking app. It offers a text messaging service where you can set your quit date, track financial goals, schedule reminders, and more. To sign up, simply text “QUIT” to iQUIT (47848) and select a quit date.  The American Cancer Society also has a phone number for resources and support, 1-800-227-2345.

I set a quit date, now what?

The Great American Smokeout, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, is Thursday, November 17th. So, there is no need to wait until making your New Year’s resolutions to quit smoking.

Some helpful things to do to prepare for your quit day:

  • Pick a date and mark it on your calendar.
  • Tell your friends and family about your decision.
  • Get rid of all of your cigarettes, ashtrays, and lighters in your home and car.
  • Stock up on sugarless gum, carrot or celery sticks, hard candy, cinnamon sticks, coffee stirrers, straws, and/or toothpicks. These items can help with urges to smoke.
  • Set up a support system. Friends, family members, the easy-to-use apps, and/or the toll-free support line can all be important to your success.
  • Decide how you are going to quit. Are you going to quit cold turkey or are you going to use NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) and/or prescription medications?

What are my options if I want to use an NRT or prescription medication?

Studies suggest that the use of medications can double your success rate. Your doctor can be a great support of your new, healthy lifestyle. Enlist his or her help in deciding what options may work best for you.

Some over-the-counter options:

  • Nicotine gum
  • Nicotine patches
  • Nicotine lozenges

Prescription options consist of:

  • Nicotine inhalers
  • Nicotine nasal sprays
  • Zyban (buproprion)
  • Chantix (varenicline)

What can I do about cravings?

Cravings are an almost inevitable issue in your quest to become smoke-free.

The 5 D’s of smoking cessation may help:

  1. Delay - Most cravings will pass in a matter of minutes.
  2. Distract - Do something else. Go for a walk. Do a puzzle. Taking a shower or brushing your teeth may also make it less likely for you want to smoke.
  3. Drink water - Staying hydrated is important and will help curb cravings.
  4. Deep Breaths - Breathe in slowly for a count of three and exhale for a count of three. This can help you relax and relieve stress.
  5. Discuss - Use your support system to discuss your feelings.

This last tip may be the most important. CELEBRATE!!! You’ve made a decision for yourself, and those who love you, that will create major positive impacts on the length and quality of your life!

For more information visit the American Cancer Society website, www.cancer.org 

 

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 kathy-schnapp-jan17

A Place For Mary
Kathy Schnapp, LSW, OCPSII
Prevention Education
Heroin & Opiate Initiative

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