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Metro Creative Connection

Guest editorial: Summer an advantageous time to become tobacco-free


Mon, Aug 2nd 2021 07:00 am

Becoming tobacco-free during the summer starts with a phone call to 1-866-ny-quit

√ New York State Smokers' Quitline encourages tobacco users to take advantage of summer months to end nicotine dependence

By the New York State Smokers' Quitline

The new year is a popular time for tobacco users to become tobacco-free; however, calling the New York State Smokers' Quitline and changing behaviors can make summertime ideal for making a quit-attempt. Quit Coaches are available to assist New York state residents seven days a week at 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) and encourage tobacco users to consider the summer months as an advantageous time to stay tobacco-free.

"It is natural to associate the new year with a 'fresh start,' but summertime in New York state can give tobacco users a boost to successfully become tobacco-free," said Dr. Andrew Hyland, chair of health behavior at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and director of the Quitline. "The warm weather and increase of outdoor activities can lessen overall stress and help a smoker stay focused on navigating triggers and sticking to a quit-plan."

Highly trained Quit Coaches are available seven days a week beginning at 9 a.m. to empower tobacco users through free, individualized coaching. Most New York state residents also will qualify to receive a free starter supply of stop-smoking medication, such as nicotine patches, nicotine gum or nicotine lozenges. Numerous studies report the use of coaching with combination medication – such as the patch and gum used simultaneously – as one of the most effective methods to become and stay tobacco-free.

The Quitline's Quit Coaches have encountered many examples of tobacco users who achieved success through summer activities, which offer healthy alternatives to smoking.

√ "Hiking is a perfect distraction from smoking. It will help your circulation, too." – Karina

√ "Spend time at the beach, especially if you swim. You can't swim and smoke!" – Kathy

√ "Gardening can offer a calming activity to stay focused." – Darlene

√ "Especially now with so many New Yorkers coming out of quarantine and isolation, this is the perfect time to get outdoors and try new activities to replace smoking." – Lyette

 While the summer months can offer advantages to successfully become and stay tobacco-free, any day of the year without smoking is a great day for your health and well-being. Free help begins with a simple phone call to 1-866-NY-QUITS. For online support, the nysmokefree.com website features self-help guides and a registration system to access coaching and stop-smoking medication.

The New York State Smokers' Quitline is a service of the New York State Department of Health and based at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. It is one of the first and busiest state quitlines in the nation, and has responded to nearly 3 million calls since it began operating in 2000. The Quitline encourages nicotine users to talk with their health care professionals and access available Medicaid or health insurance benefits for stop-smoking medications. All New York state residents can call 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) for coaching and resources, free of charge, seven days a week beginning at 9 a.m. Visit www.nysmokefree.com for more information.

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is a community united by the drive to eliminate cancer's grip on humanity by unlocking its secrets through personalized approaches and unleashing the healing power of hope. Founded by Dr. Roswell Park in 1898, it is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in upstate New York. Learn more at www.roswellpark.org, or contact us at 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or [email protected].

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