Health Calls encourages tobacco-free living during the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout on November 16. Health Calls is encouraging everyone to commit or recommit to healthy, tobacco-free lives by participating in the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout today, on November 16, 2017 or any day.
The most important thing smokers can do to improve their health is to quit cigarettes and other forms of combustible tobacco. We are showing our support for people who take those first steps toward making a plan to quit.
Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. About half of all Americans who keep smoking will die because of the habit. Each year more than 480,000 people in the United States die from illnesses related to tobacco use. This means smoking causes about 1 out of 5 deaths in the U.S. annually.
Yet, because tobacco is one of the strongest addictions one can have, about 40 million American adults still smoke. Doctors and public health officials used to encourage smokers to quit cold turkey on a single day. Today, the evidence shows that quitting is a process. It starts with a plan, often takes time and requires a lot of support.
Health Calls is partnering with the American Cancer Society, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide support as people make their plan to quit. More information is available at cancer.org/smokeout or by calling 1-800-227-2345.
Health Calls wants to help the people in our community to be healthy and happy. During this year’s Great American Smokeout, we hope everyone will join us – and encourage their friends, family and colleagues to join us – in committing or recommitting to year-around, tobacco-free lives.
Here are some tips to encourage people who are in the process of quitting tobacco.
1. Spend as much free time as you can in public places where smoking is not allowed.
2. Take extra care of yourself. Drink water, eat well, and get enough sleep. This could help you have the energy you might need to handle extra stress.
3. Try to avoid alcohol, coffee, or any other drinks you link with smoking. Try a different low- or no-calorie option instead.
4. If you miss the feeling of having a cigarette in your hand, hold something else, like a pencil, a paper clip, a coin, or a marble.
5. If you miss the feeling of having something in your mouth, try toothpicks, cinnamon sticks, sugarless gum, sugar-free lollipops, or celery.
6. Avoid temptation by staying away from activities, people, and places you link with smoking.
7. Make a list of the important reasons you’ve decided to quit, and keep this list with you to continually remind yourself.
8. Take deep breaths to relax. Picture your lungs filling with fresh, clean air.
9. Remember your goal and the fact that the urge to smoke will lessen over time.
10. Think about how awesome it is that you’re quitting smoking and getting healthy. If you start to waver, remember your goal.
11. Remember that quitting is a learning process. Be patient with yourself.
12. Brush your teeth and enjoy that fresh taste.
13. Exercise in short bursts. Try alternately tensing and relaxing muscles, push-ups, lunges, walking up the stairs, or touching your toes.
14. Call a friend, family member, or the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 when you need support.
15. Eat 4 to 6 small meals during the day instead of 1 or 2 large ones. This keeps your blood sugar levels steady, your energy balanced, and helps prevent the urge to smoke. Avoid sugary or spicy foods that could trigger a desire to smoke.
16. Reward yourself for doing your best.
17. Know that anger, frustration, anxiety, irritability, and even depression are normal after quitting and will get better as you learn ways to cope that don’t involve tobacco and the effects of nicotine subside over time.
18. Go for a walk. Exercise can improve your mood and relieve stress.
Quitting tobacco is a process. Take the first step today at cancer.org/smokeout or by calling 1-800-227-2345.