“Kick butt” in 2014!

January 15, 2014

It’s still early in the new year, which means it’s a great time to start creating some new, healthy habits. Quitting tobacco is one of the best things you can do for your health. Some benefits happen quickly, such as your blood pressure improving, and other benefits occur over time, such as lowering your risk for lung cancer, your teeth and nails being whiter, and more.

Quitting tobacco may seem like a daunting goal, especially if you have been smoking for a long time. Luckily, you don’t have to go through the quitting process alone. There are many free and low-cost resources that can help you quit. Check out our comprehensive list of resources, including written information about quitting tobacco, online resources for help, smartphone apps, how to obtain individualized counseling, in-depth information about smoking cessation medications, and more.

Your employer
Your employer may be a great resource to help you quit smoking. Many employers offer free tobacco cessation programs as part of the employee benefits package. Talk to your benefits or human resources team to find out what’s offered at your workplace.  Also, ask your employer if they subsidize nicotine replacement therapies like nicotine gum or the nicotine patch (if they don’t, check online–you may be able to find coupons to use on these products).

Your doctor
Mention to your doctor that you’re interested in quitting smoking.  Your doctor can provide you with recommendations and resources that can help you quit.
Click here for a ton of really cool resources, including a cigarette cost calculator (you may be shocked at how much money you’re spending on cigarettes over time), “desktop helpers” that can help you plan your quit day and deal with cravings, and more.

National Cancer Institute resources:
NCI Smoking Quitline at 1–877–44U–QUIT (1–877–448–7848) provides individualized counseling, printed information, and referrals to other sources.
View this NCI fact sheet, “Where To Get Help When You Decide To Quit Smoking”: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/tobacco/help-quitting

http://www.smokefree.gov/ is a Web site created by NCI’s Tobacco Control Research Branch; check out their Step-by-Step Quit Guide.
Get the Smokefree QuitGuide app for your smartphone: http://www.smokefree.gov/apps/

American Cancer Society
Their website includes a guide to quitting smoking.
You can also call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.

American Heart Association

This website features a free, online plan to help you quit smoking.

American Lung Association

Other resources:
“Help for Smokers and Other Tobacco Users” is a free booklet created by the US Department of Health and Human Services packed with tips on how to quit:

“FDA 101: Smoking Cessation Products” is an article put out by the Food and Drug Administration that discusses the variety of approved products, both over-the-counter and prescription, that can help you quit smoking.

For more help finding free and/or low-cost resources, read the Healthcare Survival Guide!


Teen Smoking – Get Them to Kick Their (Cigarette) Butts

August 7, 2013

The number of teens and young adults who use tobacco products remains surprisingly high in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 3.6 million middle and high school students smoke cigarettes. In fact, for every person who dies due to smoking-related illnesses—more than 1,200 people each day—at least two teens or young adults become regular smokers. Nearly 90% of these “replacement” smokers try their first cigarette by age 18.

So what can you do?

The Mayo Clinic advises the best way to get your teens to quit smoking is by helping them avoid ever taking that first puff. Here are some tips to help you with this challenge:

  • Set a good example. If your kids see you smoking, how can you expect them to listen to you?
  • Say no to teen smoking. Tell them smoking isn’t allowed. Firm smoking restrictions may sway them not to try in the first place.
  • Appeal to your teen’s vanity. Remind your teen that smoking is dirty, smelly, gives them bad breath, wrinkles, makes their teeth yellow, and gives them less energy for sports.
  • Do the math. Sit down with your teen and calculate how expensive a smoking habit can really be. Chances are they will already be thinking about spending that money elsewhere, like saving up for a car.
  • Expect peer pressure. Rehearse with your teen on how to respond to peer pressure from friends and other teens.
  • Take addiction seriously. Tell them how hard it is to quit smoking, and that most adults who have died from smoking started when they were teenagers.
  • Predict the future. Teens tend to think they’ll live forever. Use loved ones, friends, or celebrities who’ve gotten smoking-related diseases as real-life examples.
  • Think beyond cigarettes. Smokeless tobacco, clove cigarettes, and hookahs are not safer than smoking cigarettes. They all carry health risks; don’t let your teen be fooled.

Consider supplementing the above tips with resources from the following organizations:

  • SmokeFreeTeen.gov is dedicated to helping teens and young adults quit smoking. They offer the Smokefree TXT text messaging service that provides your teen with 24/7 encouragement. Also, their QuitSTART app allows teens to track their mood, cravings, triggers, and overall smoke-free progress. Just sign up!  Please note, these resources are free from SmokeFreeteen.gov, but standard messaging and data rates apply.
  • Lung.org is sponsored by the American Lung Association and offers a lot of information about how to quit tobacco, why you should quit, and where you can find more help. They also offer information regarding federal, state, and community programs to help with tobacco cessation.
  • Kidshealth.org is a great resource for helping your kids quit smoking.  Plus, it also offers a lot of advice for other issues and risks that may impact your teens, such as drugs and alcohol, driving safety, and food and fitness!