Although smoking is less prevalent than it used to be, about 36.5 million Americans still smoke. Did you know smoking is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the world?
Take a step towards quitting
There are a wide range of immediate and long term benefits associated with quitting smoking. Even within the first 20 minutes after quitting, there is a drop in blood pressure and heart rate. The first step towards successfully quitting tobacco is to choose a date. Pick a day on the calendar, mark it off, and share the date with your family and friends not only for accountability, but for support as you work towards success.
If you have tried to quit in the past and have been unsuccessful, try to reflect back on the experience and think about how you might overcome the roadblocks you hit before. Don’t ‘be discouraged by previous attempts, and keep in mind it could take more than one try.
Quitting smoking can be a challenging task and there are a variety of ways a person can choose to get help. Some ideas include the use of hotlines, in-person or online support groups, counseling services, nicotine replacement products or prescription medication to lessen cravings. There are even free smartphone apps to help keep track of quit goals and successes such as QuitGuide and quitSTART. Be sure to explore multiple support resources, a combination has been shown to make you more likely to succeed at quitting.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that a person trying to quit tobacco products needs support from surrounding friends, family, and co-workers to be successful. See the tips below for ideas on how to support someone trying to kick the habit.
Tips for supporting someone trying to quit smoking:
- Respect that the decision to quit is smoker’s lifestyle change and challenge, not yours.
- Ask the person how they’re feeling, not just whether they have smoked recently.
- Help the smoker keep their mind off things by encouraging other healthy behaviors as a distraction.
- Celebrate milestones along the way, quitting is hard!
- Try not to doubt the smoker’s ability to quit. Your faith in them reminds them they can do it.
Sources: Cancer.org. Lifework Strategies, Adventist HealthCare. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For additional information, consult your physician. Please feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.