Thinking of finally putting down that pack of cigarettes? There are plenty of reasons why you should.
Research by the American Cancer Society shows that more than 400,000 Americans die each year from smoking related illnesses.
The average smoker also spends more than $10,000 on cigarettes each year, a tough price to pay in these economic times. On Nov. 19 the American Cancer Society will sponsor the 34th Annual Great American Smokeout, urging smokers to kick the habit. The Shore Memorial Hospital QuitCenter will join the effort by continuing its work in helping members of the community to quit smoking.
The Shore Memorial QuitCenter is one of only seven QuitCenters operating in New Jersey. A staff of trained Tobacco Dependence Specialists works with clients to develop tailored quit plans involving combinations of behavioral therapy and nicotine replacement therapy.
While smokers often try to quit smoking on their own, research shows that only five percent of those who go cold turkey are successful. Programs like those provided by the Shore Memorial QuitCenter offer the smoker solidarity through one-on-one counseling or group therapy.
“It’s good to be in surrounded by people who don’t smoke, or people who have struggled with smoking and understand what you’re going through,” says Stephanie Bordonaro, a Tobacco Dependence Specialist with the Shore Memorial QuitCenter. Bordonaro counsels smokers on finding the nicotine replacement therapy that works for them and on ways to change their environment and behaviors that may have encouraged their smoking habit.
“You have to deal with the psychological reasons why you smoke,” Bordonaro says. “As well as the habitual reasons and factors in your environment.”
Controlling the Cravings When that craving for a cigarette hits, find a way to keep busy:
- Call a friend
- Munch on celery or carrot sticks
- Drink a glass of water
- Do relaxation exercises, such as deep breathing
- Go for a walk
- Keep your hands busy by writing a letter or doing a puzzle
- Chew sugarless gum
- Brush your teeth
- Do some household chores