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The Best Time to Quit Smoking is Now!
Thursday, November 20, is the 33rd Great American Smokeout, and the American Cancer Society continues its legacy of providing free resources to help smokers quit. The Great American Smokeout was inaugurated in 1976 to inspire and encourage smokers to quit for one day. Now, 44.2 percent of the 45.3 million Americans who smoke have attempted to quit for at least one day in the past year, and the Great American Smokeout remains a great opportunity to encourage people to commit to making a long-term plan to quit for good.
With all the resources available to help smokers quit, there has never been a better time to quit smoking, and the American Cancer Society is here to help. If you smoke, make a plan and set the Great American Smokeout, November 20, 2008, as your quit date. By calling the American Cancer Society Quitline® at 1-800-227-2345, people who plan to quit will be able to speak with a trained counselor and receive free, confidential counseling.
Studies have found that Quitline can more than double a person’s chances of successfully quitting tobacco. Callers to Quitline can be connected with smoking cessation resources in their communities, social support groups, Internet resources, and medication assistance referrals. Since its inception in 2000, Quitline has provided counseling support to more than 380,000 smokers.
The American Cancer Society offers other free resources – through Quitline and at www.cancer.org/GreatAmericans – that can increase a smoker’s chances of quitting successfully, including tips and tools for friends, family, and coworkers of potential quitters to help them be aware and supportive of the struggle to quit smoking. Studies show the importance of social support in quitting smoking, as people are most likely to quit smoking when their friends, family, and coworkers decide to quit smoking. Popular online social networks such as Facebook and MySpace are also becoming support channels for people who want to quit, and American Cancer Society Smokeout-related downloadable desktop applications are available on these networks to help people quit or join the fight against tobacco.
“A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that social networks are helpful in quitting smoking,” said [spokesperson]. “Friends and family can help the most by being aware and supportive of the struggle to quit, and the American Cancer Society has resources to help them show support for their loved one who is trying to quit.”
Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. Each year, smoking accounts for an estimated 438,000 premature deaths, including 38,000 deaths among nonsmokers as a result of secondhand smoke. Half of all Americans who continue to smoke will die from smoking-related diseases.
Also imperative in this effort to encourage people to quit smoking are smoke-free laws and higher tobacco taxes which make it harder for people to smoke, and protect nonsmokers from tobacco smoke. The majority of U.S. communities are now covered by smoke-free laws, while forty-three states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have raised tobacco taxes since 2000. Smokers nationwide now face an average cost of $4.32 for one pack of cigarettes, not including all taxes. The rising cost of living is also affecting smokers, as the cost of cigarettes presents an even greater burden. Smoke-free workplace laws and other tobacco control legislation, supported by the Society and its nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action NetworkSM (ACS CAN), help protect Americans from secondhand smoke and encourage smokers to quit.
The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by saving lives, diminishing suffering and preventing cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. Founded in 1913 and with national headquarters in Atlanta, the Society has 13 regional Divisions and local offices in 3,400 communities, involving millions of volunteers across the United States. For more information anytime, call toll free 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.
Tips To Help You Quit
You Can Do It -- Five Helpful Strategies
1. Prepare for life as a nonsmoker. Remove all cigarette-related materials such as ashtrays, lighters, matches, cigarettes and cigarette butts, etc. from your office and your home. This will help you avoid temptation.
2. Urges last a few minutes at most, so practice the four Ds:
b.DO something else to get your mind off the craving. Call a friend, go for a walk, or chew on a carrot stick.
c.DRINK lots of water throughout the day, especially during a craving.
d.DELAY reaching for a cigarette – the urge will pass!
3. Change your routines. For example, if you light up with a cup of coffee, switch to tea, soda or juice. If you smoke while you watch the evening news, read a newspaper instead.
4. Recognize that urges are the worst within the first two weeks of your life as a nonsmoker. After that, your chances of smoking again will most likely occur in situations associated with smoking such as after dinner or during car rides. While it may difficult and nearly impossible to avoid some of these situations, try to avoid as many of them as you can. If you can’t, tell people you’ve just quit or that you’re a nonsmoker.
5. Use all the resources available to you. Nicotine patches, gums, and lozenges are a few over-the-counter options while nicotine nasal spray and inhaler and other smoking cessation medications are available via a doctor’s prescription. department.