Director Kosciusko County Tobacco Free Coalition
KOSCIUSKO COUNTY — As the New Year begins, decide to make 2017 the year that you quit smoking or chewing tobacco. Resources are available to help you quit for good this year.
Quitting is among the most common New Year’s resolutions. The New Year is a symbol of renewal and can be a time to prepare for new beginnings. It is a time to set goals and make them public so that you can get support and encouragement from friends and family. If you smoke or chew tobacco, determining to quit in 2017 may be the most important resolution you ever make.
Nicotine is the drug in tobacco products that makes them addictive. In fact, nicotine dependence is the most common form of addiction in the United States. Research suggests that nicotine is as addictive as heroin, cocaine, or alcohol.
People that smoke or chew tobacco do it because their bodies rely on the nicotine. When the amount of nicotine in the body runs low, the tobacco user experiences a craving—a strong, almost uncontrollable urge to smoke or chew.
Quitting can be challenging and may require multiple attempts. People sometimes relapse because of stress and withdrawal symptoms (e.g., irritability, anxiety and difficulty concentrating). But you can quit. For some, quitting is not as hard as they expected. For others, it is a major battle. But the bottom line is that more than 40 million tobacco users have successfully quit. In fact, today there are more former smokers and chewers than those who smoke or chew.
Breaking free from nicotine dependence is not the only reason to quit smoking. Cigarette smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals and chemical compounds, many of which are toxic or carcinogenic (i.e., cause cancer). Cigarette smoke can cause serious health problems, even death.
Fortunately, people who stop smoking can greatly reduce their risk for disease and premature death. And the younger you are when you quit, the better your chance for avoiding these problems. So do not wait!
The Kosciusko County Tobacco Free Coalition is offering a five-week course starting January 10 at 6 p.m. located at Walnut Street Family Healthcare Clinic, 605 N. Walnut St., North Manchester. Pre-register by calling (260) 982-1994 or (260) 571-2464.
Another way to help you quit is to take advantage of the Indiana Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW). Free counseling for anyone that calls the number.
Make 2017 your year to quit!