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The month of July brings about many things—celebrations, birthdays, fireworks, summer vacations and cookouts with friends and family members. But, July also represents the halfway point of the year, making it the perfect time to reflect on those New Year’s Resolutions you may have set at the beginning of 2022.
Are you on track to meet, or possibly even exceed, your goals? Maybe you haven’t even thought about them since January or perhaps you chose not to make any this year. Whatever the case, there’s still plenty of time to make new goals and resolutions or work towards those you’ve already set, including one of the most common resolutions: to quit smoking.
This July, make a declaration of independence from smoking.
We’ve all heard the statistics about the link between lung cancer and smoking, but did you know smoking is linked to 12 different cancers and harms nearly every organ of the body? It also increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Smoking is especially dangerous for kids and young adults because nicotine, the highly addictive chemical found in tobacco products (including e-cigarettes), harms brain development and negatively affects parts of the brain that controls attention, learning, mood and impulse control.
You may have a friend or family member, or perhaps you, yourself have tried to quit smoking a few times, but can’t seem to quit completely. You’re not alone – on average, a person tries to quit smoking 30 times or more before quitting successfully!
So, what can I do to try to quit smoking?
While trying to quit smoking feels different for each person, almost everyone will experience some degree of nicotine withdrawal symptoms (like being anxious or irritable, having a hard time concentrating or falling asleep, or even being depressed). Luckily, there are tobacco cessation medicines available to help relieve these withdrawal symptoms to make the quitting process easier.
Many people connect smoking with things they do during the day, like taking breaks, drinking coffee, finishing a meal, talking on the phone or driving. When you try to quit, it may be hard to do these activities and your normal routines without a cigarette in hand. Talking with a healthcare professional or a quit coach can help address routines and behaviors you’ve linked with smoking. Using tobacco cessation medicines along with behavioral counseling from a professional provides to greatest odds of quitting completely. Talk with your doctor to see what works best for you. You can also contact your state quit-line program by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free help and resources. SmokeFree.gov is another great resource that provides free tools and tips, such as creating a personalized plan to quit.
How can I help someone I care about quit?
While your intentions are good, you can’t force people to quit smoking. People need their own personal reasons to help motivate them to quit. They cannot feel pressured to quit, which could cause additional stress during an already stressful time.
Someone who feels supported is more likely to quit smoking for good, so you can play a big part in helping your friend or family member become smoke-free. Everyone who quits needs a different amount and type of support; don’t be afraid to ask them what kind of support they want and how much. Click here for more helpful tips to support your quitter.
About the Author
Organizations are in a constant state of change and the Kinetiq Health team supports them every step of the way. A unique formula of people, processes and technologies enables our team to keep an educated eye on the financial and clinical implications of data to move organizations toward improved financial health and employee well-being.