If you are addicted to nicotine, you know the powerful urge to use tobacco products, whether or not you actually want to.
Cigarettes today deliver more nicotine more quickly than ever before. Tobacco companies also use additives and chemicals to make them more addictive, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
You know the cost to your pocketbook. If you are a pack-a-day smoker, the habit costs you at least $900 per year.
Of course you know the actual or potential health impacts, too. Tobacco use is the No. 1 cause of preventable death. At least 4 Montanans die each day – and over 1,600 per year – from diseases related to their tobacco use.
Cigarette smoking is attributed to many cancers, most notably lung and throat cancer; respiratory illnesses like COPD and emphysema; and circulatory illnesses like heart attack, stroke and diabetes.
The addiction reduces your lifespan by at least 10 years.
It’s time to quit.
This week’s Great American Smokeout is the perfect opportunity to prove you are stronger than the addiction that takes away your control. The event, started by the American Cancer Society in 1977, encourages cigarette smokers on the third Thursday of November, to quit for 24 hours (and perhaps the rest of your life). Although officially November 17, people are encouraged to do the “Smokeout” that works best for them.
“When trying to quit smoking, support can make all the difference.” That’s the theme for this year’s Great American Smokeout. It brings in a very important point – to seek support from friends and loved ones.
While some people quitting tobacco choose to go “cold turkey,” a proven source of assistance like the Montana Quit Line can increases your chances of success.
Montana Quit Line (at 1-800-QUIT-NOW and www.QuitNowMontana.com) offers free coaching. Quit Line coaches help the enrollee develop a personalized quit plan. When you sign up with the Montana Quit Line, you receive your choice of free nicotine replacement therapy patches, gum or lozenges, and if you choose to, with a medical professional’s prescription, drugs like Chantix at significantly reduced prices.
It’s time you show yourself how good life is without cigarettes. Enlist family and friends for YOUR Great American Smokeout.
I KNOW you can do it!
Pick up a free Quit Kit from Sanders County Tobacco Prevention, room 102 on the lower level of the Sanders County Courthouse, 1111 Main Street, Thompson Falls.
For more information, call the office at 827-6901.
Gubel is tobacco prevention specialist for Sanders County.