New Year, New Smoke-free you
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarette smoking kills 480,000 people every year in the United States alone, more than 40,000 of them from secondhand smoke. Today, about 36.5 million American adults identify as current smokers, putting them and those around them at high risk for a host of conditions, including an array of cancers, stroke and heart disease.
Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do for your health. The sooner you quit, the sooner your body can start to heal. You will feel better and have more energy to be active with your family and friends.
Make 2022 the year you quit!
Follow these steps to improve your likelihood of a successful quit.
Step One: Set a quit date
Pick a date to quit smoking. This will give you enough time to prepare. Really think about your quit date. Avoid choosing a day where you know you will be busy, stressed, or tempted to smoke (for example, a night out with friends, days where you may smoke at work).
Step Two: Tell family and friends that you are trying to quit
Telling family, friends and coworkers about your quit attempt can increase your chances of success. By sharing what kind of support you are looking for – either encouragement or accountability – allows your loved ones to be involved in the process. The more people you have in your corner, the more likely you are to succeed. Have a spouse or friend who wants to quit too? Do it together!
Step Three: Plan for challenges while quitting
Stopping smoking is not just about dealing with nicotine cravings. Many smokers need to work through the habitual tendencies surrounding cigarette use. By attending a group workshop run by a certified tobacco treatment specialist, you can learn how to work through cravings and triggers like stress, boredom and nervousness without reaching for a cigarette.
Step Four: Remove cigarettes and other tobacco from your home, car, and work
You will be tempted to smoke during your quit. Stay strong; you can do it! Removing things that remind you of smoking will get you ready to quit. A few good ideas are:
- Throw away all your cigarettes and matches. Give or throw away your lighters and ashtrays. Remember the ashtray and lighter in your car!
- Don't save one pack of cigarettes “just in case.” Keeping even one pack makes it easier to start smoking again.
Remove the smell of cigarettes from your life. Make things clean and fresh at work‚ in your car‚ and home. Clean your drapes and clothes. Shampoo your car interior. You will be less tempted to light up if you don't smell smoke.
Have your dentist clean your teeth to get rid of smoking stains. Your teeth will look amazing. When you quit smoking, they will always look that way.
Step Five: Talk with your doctor about nicotine replacement therapy or pharmaceutical help
Discuss cessation treatments with your doctor. Your doctor knows your medical history and can suggest and prescribe pharmaceuticals or a nicotine replacement therapy that will work best for you. Doctors can also talk about the benefits of quitting and what to expect.
CCHA is here to help!
Smoking cessation services are FREE to Health First Colorado members. Contact CCHA Member Support Services to learn more about how we can help you achieve your goals.
Call CCHA Member Support Services
303-256-1717 | 719-598-1540 | 1-855-627-4685 (TTY 711)
Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm