Streator, Ill. - St. Mary’s Hospital is supporting The American Cancer Society as they mark the 37th Great American Smokeout on November 15, by encouraging smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. By doing so, smokers will be taking an important step towards a healthier life – one that can lead to reducing cancer risk.
According to the American, tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US, yet more than 45 million Americans still smoke cigarettes. However, more than half of these smokers have attempted to quit for at least one day in the past year. As of 2010, there were also 13.2 million cigar smokers in the US, and 2.2 million who smoke tobacco in pipes.
The following ideas from the American Cancer Society can increase your chances of quitting for good.
• Self-help materials are available to help you quit smoking, no matter where you are in the process. These materials can help you learn how to prepare for your quit attempt, develop strategies to cope with cravings, and prevent relapse once you have quit. The self-help materials offer proven methods that are easy to follow and can keep your motivation high.
• Support programs can be found in a variety of forms – group smoking-cessation programs, Internet resources, referral programs, or support groups.
• Telephone counseling is a proven, confidential counseling method that will help you stay focused on your reasons for quitting.
• Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) can relieve many of the nicotine withdrawal symptoms that occur when a person stops smoking. Prescription medicines like Bupropion (Zyban) and Varenicline (Chantix) can also help you quit. Using medication can double your chance of successfully quitting. Talk to your doctor about a strategy that might work for you.
To learn more about quitting smoking, call St. Mary’s at 815.673.2311 or visit cancer.org/progamsandservices.