Kick your smoking habit this year
It may seem that smoking has become less common in the U.S. – and it has. However, an estimated 36.5 million Americans still smoked in 2015, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nurse Rose Melendez, RN, tells us how you can keep that New Year’s resolution to kick the habit.
What are some tips to get started if you want to quit smoking?
Nurse Rose: Here are some helpful tips for anyone looking to quit smoking:
- Get ready. Select a quit-date when and tell people close to you about your plan.
- Change your routine. If you usually smoke after lunch, take a walk instead.
- Use medicine. Nicotine replacement therapy can help manage cravings.
- Get support. You can seek help from a Tobacco Cessation Program like that at Adventist HealthCare or visit gov for help.
- Talk to your doctor. Your primary care physician can help you manage nicotine replacement and find local support resources.
How can people help a friend or family member who’s trying to quit?
Nurse Rose: It’s important to recognize that quitting smoking is difficult, especially because the nicotine in cigarettes is addictive. Here are some tips to support your loved one who wants to stop smoking.
- Respect that the decision to quit is the smoker’s lifestyle change and challenge, not yours.
- Ask the person how they’re feeling, not just whether they have smoked recently.
- Offer healthy distractions like exercising or cooking together to keep the smoker’s mind off smoking
- 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.
Rose Melendez, RN
Head of Emergency Department
Rose Melendez, RN is the head of the Emergency Department and Nursing Administration at Adventist HealthCare Washington Adventist Hospital. Tune into WGTS 91.9 FM every Wednesday at 7:40 a.m. to listen to Nurse Rose live on the radio.