Smoke-out day is here! Today’s mission to quit smoking, even if only for one day, is a perfect accompaniment to our month’s mission of Lung Cancer Awareness.
Did you know the Great American Smoke-out Day happens every year, on the third Thursday of November?
Smoke-out Day is a Great Motivator
Smokers across the nation participate in the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smoke-out events in various communities. We hope you will use today to help someone you know. Help them make a plan to use today to begin to quit, or to establish a date to quit smoking.
The American Cancer Society states, “By quitting – even for 1 day – smokers will be taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing their cancer risk.”
Smoke-out Day Includes All Tobacco Types
Another fact you might not know is that 36.5 million Americans actually still smoke cigarettes or some form of tobacco. This must be why tobacco use continues to nag our
global culture as the single largest preventable cause of disease and early death in the world.
Moreover, now that we see cigarette smoking dropping from 42% to 15.1%, we see pipe, cigar and hookahs, not to mention e-cigs, rising as addictive ways to access tobacco.
FLASS Speaks Out Against Tobacco on Smoke-out Day and Every Day
Folks, there is just no pretty way to say or blog it. Doctors and healthcare professionals at Florida Lung, Asthma and Sleep Specialists state unequivocally, “Smoking kills people.”
We hate to tell you this, but there’s no “safe” way to smoke tobacco. On the good side of this cause, on Smoke-out Day, are you aware that quitting smoking has immediate and long-term benefits at any age?
We know it is hard to quit, but we know how you can get help. There is even an AP for that!
We want you to know that getting help through counseling or medications can double or triple the your chances of quitting successfully—and permanently.
Smoke-out Mission: Get Help Quitting Smoking
Start with a quick internet trip to the American Cancer Society’s “Stay Away From Tobacco” online resource, you can find some supportive tools and advice.
However, the doctors and healthcare professionals of FLASS know you must find the inspiration deep within your spirit before these tools can make a difference. And yes, you can do it alone, cold-turkey, on your own, but you might find it easier if you quit with support and the benefit of researched tried-and-true techniques.
The Great American Smoke-out for a Friend: A Guide for You!
If you are concerned about a friend or loved one who needs to quit, FLASS has some dos and don’ts for the way you seek to help them out—because your help can hurt!
Do respect that the quitter is in charge. “This is their lifestyle change and their challenge, not yours.” You can make your home smoke free, meaning that no one can smoke in any part of the house. You can help if you remove all lighters and ash trays from your home. Just remove anything that reminds them of smoking.
Don’t scold, tease, nag, blame, or make the quitter feel guilty. Be sure the quitter knows that you care about them whether or not they smoke. No preaching! This could be your biggest challenge
.Do ask the person whether they really want your help. Do they want you to ask regularly how they’re doing?
We suggest you ask how they’re feeling – not just whether they’ve stayed quit. In other words, be a genuine friend.
Do let the person know that it’s OK to talk to you whether they are succeeding or not. You can help the quitter get what they need, such as hard candy, sugarless gum, straws to chew on. For some former smokers, we learned the key was fresh veggies cut up and kept in the refrigerator. Who could have guessed that?
Don’t take a quitter’s grouchiness personally during their nicotine withdrawal. Here’s a good tip: Tell them the symptoms are real. Remind them that they won’t last forever. Did you know physical symptoms typically last about 2 weeks?
Do spend time with the quitter. You can be essential to keeping their mind off smoking – go to the movies, take a walk, ride a bike. Doing active things can cut through the nicotine fits.
Do see the smoking from the smoker’s point of view – a smoker’s habit is like an old friend that’s always been there when times were tough. It’s hard to give that up.
Don’t doubt the smoker’s ability to quit. Your faith in them reminds them they can do it. Don’t ever offer the quitter a smoke or any other form of tobacco, even as a joke!
The current blogger for Florida Lung, Asthma and Sleep Specialists has a special connection to the Great American Smoke-out Day. In the year 2005, she found herself inspired on just that day.
She had tried to quit previously. She sadly confided later she could chew the gum, wear a patch and still smoke. What’s worse, she had lung damage, only four years’ worth, but still, the cough did not lie.
But on that Smoke-out Day she left her black leather cigarette case and favorite silver lighter on the back of the altar at a local church. The printed materials, a prescription and the support system on her phone really helped.
She—I mean “I have never smoked again. Not even once.” So if this blog can help just one person join the Great American Smoke-out, we will have accomplished our mission.
By the way, if you don’t love the Internet, you can call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 to find out what resources might be available to help someone quit and stay quit.