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Spring season provides fresh start to become tobacco-free


Mon, Mar 7th 2022 11:30 am

Quit Coaches with New York State Smokers' Quitline can assist tobacco users on how to properly prepare for a quit-attempt

Submitted by the New York State Smokers' Quitline

As New Yorkers look forward to the spring season, many of their New Year's resolutions have come and gone. Studies confirm these resolutions often fail after a few weeks, yet the spring season offers hope to try again.

The New York State Smokers' Quitline reminds all tobacco users that this time of renewal can provide a fresh start to prepare for another quit-attempt. Highly trained Quit Coaches are available seven days a week at 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) and nysmokefree.com to assist with developing quit-plans, navigating triggers and using stop-smoking medications.

In Western New York, Ron A. of Buffalo overcame a 40-year addiction to cigarettes through the Quitline's support. Through consultation with the Quit Coaches and use of free Quitline-provided nicotine patches to control his cravings, Ron achieved success and has remained tobacco-free since April 2021. The Quitline featured him this past New Year's as one of its yearly "Success Stories."

Simply quitting with no plan or "going cold turkey" rarely leads to sustained tobacco-free living. The 2020 Surgeon General's Report on Smoking Cessation, in fact, cites only a 7% to 8% success rate following such an approach. Becoming tobacco-free takes planning, willpower and assistance. The following three suggestions represent just a few things to consider in preparation for a spring quit-attempt.

•Clear away excess lighters and ashtrays. Commit to a new lifestyle by removing tobacco product accessories such as lighters and ashtrays. Successful quitters often find they need to remove reminders and/or refrain from particular places or people – at least for the first few weeks of quitting.

•Conduct a deep clean of your home and/or car. For increased odds of becoming tobacco-free, a deep clean of areas with lingering tobacco smell will boost one's ability to tackle cravings. Cleaner environments with invigorating scents offer tobacco users a fresh start to help break their dependence.

•Investigate nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) medications to improve your chances for becoming and staying tobacco-free. Making behavior changes combined with NRT plays a major role in tobacco-free success. Tobacco users should consult a health care professional as well as the Quitline's Quit Coaches to determine which NRT medications – such as patches, gum and/or lozenges – may be best suited to treat their particular level of tobacco dependence. When used as instructed and in combination, NRT medications can double or triple the odds of becoming and staying tobacco-free.

For additional resources on how to become tobacco-free this spring, the Quitline encourages all New Yorkers to visit the CDC's “Tips from Former Smokers” website at cdc.gov/tips. Sections within the site include methods for quitting, a deeper look at NRT, supplemental apps and powerful testimonials about the health consequences of continued tobacco use.

The spring season coincides with clearing out old things to make room for something new. The Quitline is here to help give all tobacco users a fresh start and renewed focus on healthier living. Remember to consult a health care professional and the Quitline for support, investigate stop-smoking medications and try, try again to become tobacco-free. Call 1-866-NY-QUITS or visit nysmokefree.com to help you or your loved one begin a season of change.

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 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, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or email [email protected].

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