By Crystal Lynn, Gary Crusader
Smoking tobacco – a behavior learned from family or peers, picked up in the peak of life’s stresses, or sought out during a stage of curiosity – is a topic we all know.
The once popular enticing crave to smoke has lost its appeal. Those who’ve experienced this addiction cannot always explain why it is so hard to break the habit even when an individual wants to quit. Whether it’s the pleasure and energy the nicotine provides within 10 seconds of entering the body or the subliminal messages crossing your path every time you walk into a gas station, there are many factors you have to fight not only internally, but externally to overcome the addiction.
Popular television campaigns run by the Truth, the American Legacy Foundation on tobacco education, attempts a scared straight tactic by vividly showing the health complications from smoking. Fresh Empire, the nonsmoking campaign, focuses on the teen demographic by lyrically flowing its message on breaking the chain of addiction in chain smoking.
Regardless of the organizations that fight to make tobacco a thing of the past those organizations still have to fight the tobacco conglomerates that send the opposite message. Specifically targeting Black communities, tobacco industries spend 10 times more on cigarette ads labeling this a “Market Priority.” A study done by the American Journal of Public Health found the cost of little cigars and cigarillos were cheaper in neighborhoods with a higher density of minority residents.
While the tobacco industry spent $25 million per day on advertisement and promotion, it’s costing Indiana residents $0 to join the Tobacco Quitline, a free resource offered by the nonprofit organization. Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Quitting is a choice that many make every day. While the sensation and cravings are hard initially, there are thousands of people who choose to live a healthier life each year.
The programs available to Indiana residents are fitting to the lifestyle and pace of each individual. From certified coaching sessions to personalized text messages (text2Quit) each participant in the program is given multiple methods to succeed in quitting.
The phone based cessation counseling service offered by the Indiana Tobacco Quitline offers a customized plan tailored to the needs of each quitter. A Web Coach option is also available with e-tools and educational information as a guide through the quitting process. Paired with the Text2Quit participants have shown to double their success rate over a period of six weeks. There are over 270 million cell phone users in the U.S. with 72% using text messaging which can be used as a reinforcement for those trying to quit.
While many associate smoking with cancer, smoking can cause many other health problems we don’t think about including bone health, fertility, birth defects, decreased immune functions, and smoking is the cause of rheumatoid arthritis.
By putting down cigarettes the risk of a stroke can fall to about the same as a nonsmoker within two to five years. After just one year your risk for a heart attack drops sharply. And 10 years after quitting, your risk for lung cancer drops by half.
With over 25 years of research and experience, the principles and practices used in the Quit Now Indiana program will equip you with the tools and resources to not “just quit” but become a “non-smoker.”