Quitting smoking is hard to do. Six out of 10 smokers who try to quit aren’t successful in their first attempt, according to a survey by the American Lung Association.
So the key for most smokers is to quit – then quit again. Throughout November, lung cancer awareness month, Emanuel Cancer Center is encouraging smokers to kick the habit with a “Quit and Quit Again” campaign which offers a free Quit Kit to smokers.
“While most smokers are not successful the first time they try to quit, with each attempt they become a little wiser about what to do and not do the next time,” said Emanuel Cancer Center Executive Director Michael Iltis. “The ‘Quit and Quit Again’ campaign aims to change the way people think about past quit attempts and motivate them to try again.”
Because quitting is important. Studies have shown that even hard-core smokers who quit before the age of 50 cut their risk of dying from smoking-related diseases in half, and smokers who quit before the age of 30 reduce their risk by 90 percent.
Free Quit Kits can be ordered online at www.emanuelmedicalcenter.org/cancer or can be picked up at Emanuel Cancer Center weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. throughout November. The center is located at 880 E. Tuolumne Ave., Turlock.
“The kit contains a 35-page page booklet with some very helpful tips and resources to help you quit smoking, some gum, mints and lip balm to help keep your hands busy with something besides a cigarette. The kit also contains a journal and pen to track your progress,” Iltis said. “It also has information about a free six-week smoking-cessation program we’ll be offering in January.”
The booklet has information on free smoker’s help lines, quitting without gaining weight, quitting tips and a breakdown of quitting aids that are available. It also has information on how to help someone else quit.
According to the latest figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 43 million American adults are current smokers. Smoking-related diseases claim an estimated 443,000 lives each year, including those affected indirectly, such as babies born prematurely due to prenatal maternal smoking and victims of “secondhand” exposure to tobacco’s carcinogens. Smoking cost the United States more than $193 billion each year, including $97 billion in lost productivity and $96 billion in direct health care expenditures, or an average of $4,446 per adult smoker.