This Thursday marks the American Cancer Society’s 37th Great American Smokeout. The annual event raises awareness around the harms of tobacco use and encourages users to quit, for at least one day, with the hope that they will plan to quit for good. Quitting smoking improves your health, no matter how long you have smoked.
Quitting tobacco can be hard, but there are ways to make it easier. If you’re thinking about quitting, here are some ways to plan:
1. Talk to a health care provider about quitting. Ask about quit-smoking medicines and counseling support, they can make you twice as likely to quit for good. In addition, insurance companies often will offer a quit-smoking benefit so be sure to familiarize yourself with your plan benefits.
2. Prepare. Before your quit date, take steps to prepare: cut down on cigarettes, list your motives and reasons for wanting to quit, remove cigarettes from your home and car, and talk to people close to you about your plan to quit – ask for their support.
3. Know that you can do it. Quitting is different for everyone and most smokers have to try a few times before they quit for good. But it pays off – half of all people who have ever smoked have quit. You can quit, too. Visit MakeSmokingHistory.org to hear stories from local ex-smokers and how they were able to kick the habit.
Quitting tobacco, at any age, immediately benefits one’s health. To learn more about quitting and for free counseling support, call the Massachusetts Smokers’ Helpline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.