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Smokers gain by quitting tobacco, takes eight to 11 attempts to see success

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By MAJ. MAYAMONA DIAKABANA

It’s time to quit tobacco and grow your network. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, including new friends, more money in your bank account and better health—immediately and long term. On average, it can take eight to 11 serious attempts at quitting before a person sees any long term success. But you can start by making a quit plan:

Step 1: Set your QUIT date: Be specific, for example, “Monday June 5, 2017 tell everyone about your big date.

Step 2: Think about your reasons to quit tobacco: Write it down for example, “Improve health, improve physical performance, be able to breath better, set a good example, save money, learn healthier ways to cope with stress, etc.…

Step 3: Identify your triggers: For example, drinking coffee or alcohol, driving car, sitting in traffic, social situations, boredom, watching TV, breaks at work, etc., and then use this to change your behavior. So if you use tobacco first thing in the morning outside while drinking coffee, do not go outside when you wake up and maybe drink tea and stay inside until the urge passes.

Step 4: Identify how you’ll handle triggers and cravings: You can carry an activity to distract you during cravings such as crossword puzzles, Sudoku, texting or playing games on phone/iPad. Also carry substitutes such as gum, hard candies, straws and carrots when you get the urge to use tobacco. Quit strategies include, going for a walk; tell someone you are quitting so they can hold you accountable; clean out your vehicle and home, and have a quit buddy and call them when you feel the urge to use tobacco.

Step 5: Identify your quit method: Will you do it cold turkey, use nicotine replacement therapy, prescription tobacco cessation medication, tobacco counseling or alternative therapy or a combination?

Ireland Army Health Clinic Preventive Medicine is here to assist you make your quit plans, provide counseling and prescription medication.

For more information, contact PM at (502) 624-9355 or visit www.UcanQuit2.org or text MIL to 47848. Because we care!