The New Year is coming up, and with it, that dreaded annual Resolution.
For smokers, the annual New Year’s Resolution is a rite of passage. In a recent national survey, one third of smokers said they planned to make a resolution to quit smoking this year. A few of them will succeed, but not nearly enough.
We need to find ways to improve those chances. Roughly 21 percent of the people in Allen County are smokers. Tobacco kills up to one half of all long-term smokers. They die an average of 14 years earlier than non-smokers. 1,200 Americans die each day due to tobacco-related illness. And for every one who dies, two teenagers or young adults start the habit and take their place.
So if you are a smoker, or if you know someone who is, come to this year’s resolution with the tools that can help you quit for good.
• See your physician and get him or her on board to help you quit. Smokers who use nicotine replacement products or medications double their chance of quitting.
• There is a wealth of free help online. Go to smokefree.gov for evidence-based information on what works. Go to www.becomeanex.org for help developing a plan to quit. Or call 1-800-Quit-now for free, one-one-one help quitting
• Give yourself a reason to be smoke-free. For each day of the month, write down a reason why you want to be smoke-free. When you make it through the day without a cigarette, check it off. By the end of the month, you’ll be able to see why you did the hard work.
• Get support. Tell family, friends and coworkers that you plan to quit. And let them know what they can do to help you on the path.
• Take advantage of technology. Download the UbiQUITour app on your smart phone. It will help you track progress.
This year, the U.S. Surgeon General will release its 50th annual report on smoking and health. Since the first report was released in 1964, smoking prevalence among U.S. adults has been reduces by half. Unfortunately, tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of disease, disability and death in the United States, so we still have work to do.
Finally, if you need more information, or if you would like to volunteer to help out in the effort to make Allen County a healthier place, go to www.Activateallencounty.com.
Health tips courtesy of Activate Allen County will appear in this space every Monday.