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‘Quit Like A Champion’™ during Great American Smokeout

By Joycelyn Biggs | Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany | November 6, 2015


The American Cancer Society is encouraging smokers to “Quit Like A Champion”™ during the Great American Smokeout, Nov. 19, according to the American Cancer Society Inc.’s website, www.cancer.org.

The campaign is held to encourage more than 45 million cigarette smokers, 12.4 million cigar smokers and 2.3 million tobacco pipe smokers to quit or make a plan to quit on that day.

Many former smokers agree giving up the habit is a very difficult task and anyone attempting to stop will need some help. To assist those desiring to quit, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, www.cdc.gov, listed the following five suggestions to begin the process:

1. Set a quit date. Choose the Great American Smokeout or another quit day within the next two weeks.

2. Tell family and friends of the plan to quit and ask for support. A daily e-mail, text message or phone call can help provide moral support. Plan a smoke-free lunch date, a game night or gather family in the kitchen to cook a special meal together as a distraction.

3. Anticipate and plan for challenges. The urge to smoke is short — usually only three to five minutes, but those moments can feel intense. Before the quit day, write down healthy ways to cope. Healthy choices include:

 ◦Drinking water

◦Taking a walk or climbing the stairs

◦Listening to a favorite song or playing a game

◦Calling or texting a friend

4. Remove cigarettes and other tobacco from the home, car and workplace. Throw away any cigarettes, matches, lighters and ashtrays. Clean and freshen the car, home and workplace because old cigarette odors can cause cravings.

5. Talk to a pharmacist, doctor or a coach about quit options. Nicotine patches, gum or other approved quit medicines may help with cravings.

The CDC also listed tips for smokers who may have a temporary setback while trying to quit.

•Understand it was a slip. It is a small setback.

•Don't be too aggressive with expectations. One slip up doesn't mean success is not attainable.

•Don't be too passive with expectations. If a slip up occurs‚ it's important to get back on the non-smoking track right away. Remember‚ the goal is no tobacco.

•Feel good about all the time not using tobacco. Try to learn how to make coping skills better.

•Identify the trigger. Exactly what is it that encourages using tobacco? Be aware of that trigger. Decide now how to cope with it when it comes up again.

•Learn from experience. What has helped the most? Make sure to do that next time.

•If using medicines don't stop using after only one or two cigarettes, stay with it. It will help to get back on track.

•Know and use the tips on Smokefree.gov. People with even one coping skill are more likely to stay non-tobacco users than those who don't know any.

•See a doctor or another health professional. He or she can help motivate quitting.

•Ask for support from friends, family members, co-workers, etc.

Using some or all of the suggestions can assist in kicking the habit of smoking, yielding substantial health benefits. A report released by The American Cancer Society indicates ending tobacco use decreases the chances of developing asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, blindness, halitosis, heart disease, impaired sense of smell and taste, infertility, impotence and at least 10 cancer-causing illnesses.

Many individuals at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany have already started the journey to decrease those risks. More than 40 people this year have visited Naval Branch Health Clinic Albany, located aboard the base, seeking tobacco cessation assistance.

Petty Officer 1st Class Kishaun Jeffers, leading petty officer, NBHC Albany, explained a variety of techniques are available to assist patients in kicking the habit. Jeffers urged all active-duty personnel and their family members who smoke to call and make an appointment or just drop in to begin the process.

“We welcome patients to come in for assistance with any type of tobacco cessation,” he said. “We will complete an intake sheet, discuss techniques and develop an individual plan to help them quit.”

For information about tobacco cessation, visit www.nmcphc.med.navy.mil or call (229) 639-7886/7964.