Be inspired to quit. Make today the day for a healthier you.
Although the numbers of American adults who smoke recently hit its lowest point since the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) began tracking smoking statistics in 1965 (American Cancer Society), 34.3 million adults in the United States still smoked cigarettes in 2017 and 47.4 million people used some type of tobacco product. Cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the country. An estimated 480,000 American adults die from cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke exposure every year (American Cancer Society).
Cigarette smoking is a known risk factor for sudden cardiac death, and here at Cardio Partners and AED.com we’re all about reducing the number of Americans who die from cardiac arrest each year. Whether we accomplish that by advocating for CPR Training, AED Drills in schools, urging early screening for cardiovascular risk factors, or supporting great causes like the Great American Smokeout, we’re all in.
While the numbers are stunning and the health benefits are undeniable, statistics and scare tactics alone are rarely enough to convince a smoker to quit. Certainly, quitting smoking is the right move, but as any former smoker will tell you, it’s really hard to do.
So make November 15 the day you do it. The Great American Smokeout is the perfect opportunity to seek the counseling and support you need to succeed. The American Cancer Society notes that finding the right support or getting help through medications may double or even triple your chance of quitting successfully.
Quitting Smoking is Hard. Make a Plan.
Nicotine addiction is one of the strongest and deadliest additions. Quitting smoking takes dedication, endurance, self-control, and perhaps most importantly, a plan. The American Cancer Society encourages smokers to speak to their pharmacist or physician to come up with a strategy that’s right for them based on their daily nicotine intake and lifestyle.
Find the Resources and Support that Work for You
Some may prefer to gradually taper off their cigarette intake while others may have a better chance for success by quitting cold turkey. Some may prefer to quit with a friend while others may prefer the help of an app. Regardless of your preferences, there’s plenty of research that shows that smokers are most successful in their cessation efforts when they have several different support options, such as:
- Telephone or chat quitlines (check out Smokefree.gov)
- American Cancer Society Freshstart Program
- Nicotine Anonymous meetings
- Smoking cessation apps (check out LIVESTRONG’s MyQuit Coach)
- Self-help books and materials
- Smoking counselors or coaches
- Encouragement and support from friends and family members
How to Manage Cigarette Cravings
Even if you have a solid plan and you’ve discussed possible medications with your doctor, the urge to smoke can strike at any time. Resisting a powerful craving is one of the toughest things a smoker can do. Even former smokers with years of smoke-free anniversaries under their belts still do battle with cigarette cravings. We’ve polled a few former smokers and have put together a list of alternatives that have the stamp of approval from our team.
- Go for a walk or run — and keep moving until the urge passes
- Make a call to a local quitline
- Try deep breathing or meditation
- Call or text a friend
- Think of all reasons why you quit in the first place
- Remind yourself that you’ve come so far
- Believe that you can resist the urge
- Make an appointment with an acupuncturist
- Chew gum
- Pop a tart vitamin C drop into your mouth
- Eat a crunchy, healthy fruit or vegetable snack
- Reward yourself with a small treat for fending off a craving
- Calculate how much money you’ve saved by not smoking
- Make a playlist of your favorite songs and listen to it whenever a craving strikes
- Stay busy
- Go someplace (like a movie theater or restaurant) where smoking is prohibited
- Distract yourself by doing a good deed (picking up litter, making a donation to your favorite charity)
We wish you good luck and strength in your quest to quit! Believe that you can, and you can do it. For more information on sudden cardiac arrest, AEDs, or CPR training, visit AED.com or call Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.