Nicotine: A Powerful Addiction
If you have tried to quit smoking, you know how hard it can be. It is hard because nicotine is a very addictive drug. Quitting is hard. Usually people make two or three attempts, or more, before finally being able to quit. Each time you try to quit, you can learn about what helps and what hurts. Quitting takes hard work and a lot of effort, but you can quit smoking.
Good Reasons for Quitting:
First of all, you will live longer and live better. Next, quitting will lower your chance of having a heart attack, stroke, or cancer. Also, the people you live with, especially your children, will be healthier. Finally, you will have extra money to spend on things other than cigarettes.
Five Keys for Quitting:
Get ready: Set a quit date, change your environment, review your past attempts to quit, and remember once you quit, do not smoke even a puff!
Get Support and Encouragement: Tell your family, friends, and coworkers that you are going to quit and want their support. Talk to your health care provider. Get individual, group, and telephone counseling.
Learn New Skills and Behaviors: Try to distract yourself, change your routine, reduce your stress, plan something enjoyable, and drink a lot of fluids.
Get Medication and Use it Correctly: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved five medications to help you quit smoking...Bupropion SR, Nicotine gum, Nicotine-inhaler, Nicotine nasal spray, and Nicotine patch.
Be Prepared for Relapse or Difficult Situations: Most relapses occur within the first three months after quitting. Don't be discouraged if you start smoking again. Difficult situations such as alcohol and being around other smokers should be avoided. Do not let weight gain discourage you. Just eat a healthy diet and stay active. Find other ways to improve your mood instead of resorting to smoking.
Special Situations or Conditions: Your situation or condition can give you a special reason to quit. Hospitalized patients can reduce their health problems by quitting. Heart attack patients can reduce their risk of a second heart attack by quitting. Lung, head and neck cancer patients can reduce their chance of a second cancer by quitting.
Facts about Smoking and Tobacco Use in Louisiana:
1. Louisiana ranks 2nd highest in cancer mortality rates among the 50 states and Washington, D.C.
2. Tobacco causes one in five deaths in Louisiana.
3. One in four adults in Louisiana is currently a smoker
4. 734,000 adults in Louisiana smoke cigarettes knowing that this single behavior will result in death or disability for half of all regular users.
5. One in four children in Louisiana has tried cigarettes by the 6th grade.6. Over 1.1 million days of work are lost each year in Louisiana due to tobacco