November 18, 2020 Healthy Living

The Great American Smokeout®: Commit to Quit!

If you’ve ever tried to quit smoking or vaping, you know how difficult it is. That’s not surprising as addiction to nicotine is one of the most powerful and deadly addictions you can have. Success is possible, though, with the right blend of support and resources to make the decision stick. If you’ve been thinking about kicking the habit, why not join with thousands of others and make day 1 of your smoke-free journey coincide with the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout® on Thursday, November 19, 2020?

Why Quit?

It’s Good for Your Health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Regardless of your age or how long you’ve been using tobacco, quitting for even one day can yield tremendous health benefits. Kicking the habit can lower your risk of chronic disease, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes, as well as your risk of cancer. And with the COVID-19 pandemic still raging, there’s really no better time to take that first step toward a healthier you. That’s because those who smoke, vape, or use other forms of tobacco are at greater risk of being infected with coronavirus and experiencing complications from the infection.

It’s Good for Your Wallet. Smoking can also have a devastating effect on your financial health. Aside from the outlay of money for a single pack of cigarettes, it can result in higher costs for health and life insurance, higher health care costs due to smoking-related diseases, and lost income or productivity due to smoking-related illnesses.

According to the National Cancer Institute, the average cost of a pack of cigarettes is $6.28; locally, I have found the cost to be about twice that.  Even at the average cost, though, a pack-a-day habit will set you back $188 per month or $2,292 per year.  Over 10 years, you could end up shelling out almost $23,000.

How to Quit

Make a Plan. Quitting starts with one step but actually involves a series of steps, and requires some planning.  If you think you’re ready to commit to a smoke-free lifestyle, it’s important to line up the support and resources you’ll need to be successful. These can range from one-on-one or group counseling to phone-based or mobile app-based coaching, to nicotine replacement therapy.

Use Your CDPHP® Health Benefits. Research has shown that a combination of personalized counseling, appropriate medication, and consistent support can greatly improve your chances of kicking the habit for good. CDPHP offers variety of resources to help you achieve your quit goal and stay smoke-free for life.  Find out what resources are covered by your plan.

Take the first step toward better health. Declare your independence from nicotine addiction on November 19!

Lisa Fox
About the Author

Lisa joined CDPHP in July 2016 as a population health and wellness specialist. In her role, she develops and implements programs and initiatives in partnership with employers, community partners, and providers to promote healthier lifestyles and improve health outcomes. Lisa’s professional career has always been focused on improving the health of populations through effective behavior change strategies. Over the years, she has worked on a variety of public health projects within the private, public, and non-profit sectors in Washington, DC, and Boston. She holds a Master of Public Health degree from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from SUNY Albany. Since moving back to the area, Lisa has set her sights on becoming an Adirondack 46er with her husband, Ryan, and their labradoodle, Harbor.

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