With the beginning of a new year, many of us consideration resolutions to improve our lives. For tobacco users, it is a time of year that many resolve to quit their tobacco use once and for all. In fact, data suggests that more than 70% of tobacco users in the United States want to quit, and almost half will make an attempt to quit this year. After all, tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, making quitting tobacco use the best thing you can do for your health.
However, tobacco use is more than just a bad habit. While tobacco use is habitual in nature, due to the nicotine content it is also, by nature, extremely addictive. The physical addiction coupled with the habitual nature of the behavior make quitting tobacco use more difficult to overcome through sheer willpower alone. Below are some ideas and resources that may help in the battle to finally quit tobacco for good in 2017.
- First, you have to have a reason to quit. Tobacco use is enjoyable, otherwise, why would you continue to do it? That is why having other competing reasons to quit is an important first step. We recommend writing down each reason you have for quitting on individual sticky notes and post those reasons where you use tobacco the most. For example, you could post a sticky note with the word “FAMILY” on the dashboard of your car if that is a place you use tobacco a lot. This will help you to remember the reasons you have for quitting when you are faced with a craving.
- Next, pay attention to your tobacco use. What we mean is how often do you use tobacco, where do you use tobacco, and at what times do you use tobacco? This information is critical to helping you develop a plan that can help you quit for good.
- Now you are ready to call in the big guns at the Utah Tobacco Quitline. Call 1.800.QUIT.NOW. The service is FREE and there are trained Quit Coaches ready to assist you in developing your own personalized quit plan. PLUS, if you commit to continuing to work with them, they will provide you with an eight week supply of nicotine patches, gum, or lozenges. Research continues to show that quitlines, such as 1.800.QUIT.NOW, significantly increase quitting rates when compared to tobacco users who did not use a quitline service. Quitting rates increase further when tobacco users utilize a medication, such as nicotine patches or gum, in addition to quitline services.
- Not comfortable with using 1.800.QUIT.NOW? There is also online support available at waytoquit.org. This service allows you access to a private online community, where you can develop your own quitting plan, track your quit progress, calculate savings and join in discussions with others for support, plus individual services such as:
- Text Messaging Support
- Free Patches or Gum
- Email Support
- Electronic Quit Guide.
- Tell everyone you know, “I am quitting tobacco!” The support of your family and friends can be one of the greatest assets in successfully quitting. Support can double your chances of success!
- Set a realistic quit date. On this date, it is important to throw out all your tobacco products, ashtray, lighters, etc. Keeping these things around can trigger a craving.
- Last, and most importantly, don’t give up; quit! If you slip up, don’t beat yourself up. Identify where you slipped up, revamp your plan, and continue your journey to a tobacco-free life.
We, at TriCounty Health, want to support your success in any way we can. For additional help and resources please call 435.247.1174 or contact us through email.
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