LINCOLN, R.I. - Quitting smoking – even for one day – is an important step toward a healthier life. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), 42 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, and tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S.
That’s why, as part of the Great American Smokeout, Amica Insurance is sharing tips to help encourage smokers to quit. Jean Tapley, senior wellness coordinator at Amica, says it can be difficult to help a smoker quit, and that the motivation and process is different for everyone. The ACS offers some do’s and don’ts:
- Do respect that the quitters are in charge since this is their lifestyle change and their challenge, not yours.
- Do spend time doing things with quitters to keep their minds off smoking, such as going to the movies, taking a walk or taking a bike ride together to get past a craving.
- Don’t judge, nag, preach, tease or scold smokers because this may make them feel worse about themselves. You don’t want them to turn to cigarettes to soothe hurt feelings.
- Don’t take their moodiness personally during the nicotine withdrawal phase, and tell them that you understand the symptoms are real. Remind them that they won’t last forever, and that symptoms usually get better in about two weeks.
- Don’t offer advice. Just ask how you can help with the plan or program they’re using.
If you’re a smoker, many people have probably urged you to quit smoking, but it can be hard. When you quit during the Great American Smokeout, you have the support of many other people across the nation, and you’re taking an important step to protect your health and the health of your loved ones.
Amica is sharing the following tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help get past symptoms of withdrawal:
- Set a quit date. Choose the Great American Smokeout or another quit day within the next two weeks.
- Tell your family and friends about your quit plan, and ask for support. A daily phone call, email or text message can help you stay on course and provide moral support. Free help is also available at 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669).
- The urge to smoke is short – usually only three to five minutes – but be prepared for challenges. Healthy ways to cope include drinking water, taking a walk or riding a bike, listening to a favorite song or playing a game.
- Remove cigarettes, matches, lighters and ashtrays from your home, car and workplace.
- Talk to your pharmacist or doctor about quit options, such as nicotine patches, gum or other approved medication that can help with cravings.