In honor of the American Cancer Society’s annual Great American Smokeout, Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is encouraging people who use tobacco to quit for the day or quit for life on November 19, 2015.
Tobacco products and their ingredients are designed to be addictive with nicotine serving as the primary chemical compound that causes dependence. According to the 2012 Surgeon General’s Report, most people initiate tobacco use before the age of 18, and because the teen brain is still developing, youth are more vulnerable to nicotine addiction. Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke exposure cause more than 480,000 deaths each year.
Regardless of the age of initiation or the length of time a person has used tobacco, quitting is possible and worth it. According to the CDC, the number of people who have quit smoking successfully exceeds the number of people that currently smoke. Quitting takes practice, and, even though it often takes more than one attempt to quit successfully, chances of success increase with each quit attempt. It is never too late to quit, and the body begins to heal shortly after stopping any form of tobacco.
If you or someone you care about is interested in being tobacco-free for the Great American Smokeout on November 19, 2015, preparing for the day in advance increases the chances of success. JCPH recommends using this nine day quit guide to help with planning a quit date. For additional support with quitting tobacco, consider using some of the following free resources:
· Call the Colorado QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit www.coquitline.org.
· Attend a free tobacco cessation group hosted by Lutheran Medical Center in Wheat Ridge on Tuesdays at 12:00 pm or 5:30 pm. This is a six week drop-in group that provides adults who want to quit smoking with tools and support to achieve their goals. (You do not need to attend all six weeks in order to participate.)
· Visit www.tobaccofreeco.org for additional information about secondhand smoke, Colorado tobacco laws, and resources to help with breaking free from tobacco addiction.
Jefferson County Public Health’s Tobacco Prevention Initiative is working with students, parents and community members to educate about the harms of tobacco in our communities and to promote tobacco-free living. For more information or to get involved, please visit: www.tobaccofreejeffco.com, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Donna Viverette at 303-275-7555.