A study finds 83% of smokers want to quit, but it’s a difficult process for some, so experts suggest smokers plan ahead and set a date to quit in order to succeed. Chuck Reed, with the Iowa chapter of the American Cancer Society, says a few simple actions can help put you on the road to quitting.
“Get rid of all your ash trays and lighters,” Reed says. “Tell your friends and family (you’re quitting.) When you get that craving, eat a healthy substitute for a cigarette like a small carrot. Tips are available at our website, cancer.org.” The agency’s Great American Smokeout is in a few weeks but Reed says the focus of the annual event has shifted.
“This day previously had been a day to quit smoking and we tweaked it a bit in recent years and have made it a day to make your plan to quit smoking,” Reed says. “There are steps you can take to a plan to really help your chances of quitting tobacco use.” The Smokeout is Thursday, November 18th. This is the event’s 35th year and Reed says there’s been an amazing amount of progress in that time.
The adult smoking rate in Iowa is around 14%, one of the lowest rates in the country. When the Smokeout started in 1975, he says the rate was closer to 40%. He says the event helps to spotlight the dangers of tobacco use and the challenges of quitting, but it also set the stage for the cultural revolution in tobacco control.
Reed says, “I think it has made a difference in decreasing the adult smoking rate in our country and helped make this country a healthier place to live.” About 46-million Americans now smoke and half will die prematurely from smoking. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for men and women and smoking causes nearly one in five deaths from all causes.
By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City