Vital Signs Volume 11, Issue 3 | Page 6

COMMIT TO QUIT SMOKING TODAY If you’re a smoker, the odds are good that you’ve tried to quit. Were you successful? We all know someone who has relapsed or required multiple attempts to get away and stay away from cigarettes. What if there was a simple and more successful way for you or someone you love to finally quit for good? Commit to Quit is a campaign implemented by the Kentucky Medical Association and the Kentucky Foundation for Medical Care where smokers can talk directly to physicians and use all available resources to keep cigarettes from controlling them. It’s just that easy. TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR Patients who have their doctor’s active support in quitting smoking report abstinence success rates four to five times higher than those who attempt to quit on their own. Physicians can give you an overall picture of your health before you begin to quit and also recommend ways to make quitting easier. Don’t forget that your doctor is there to help. Here are some important questions to discuss with your physician so you can Commit to Quit. ȧȧ I have been a smoker for __ years. What difference will it make if I quit now? ȧȧ How can prescription or over-the-counter medications help me quit smoking? ȧȧ Which medication would you recommend for me? What are the potential side effects? ȧȧ What should I do when I feel the urge to smoke? ȧȧ How can my family and friends help me on my journey to quit smoking? ȧȧ I have tried to quit before and was unsuccessful. What can I do this time to make sure things are different? ȧȧ What withdrawal symptoms can I expect? ȧȧ Will I gain weight if I quit smoking? ȧȧ What risks am I posing to my body and health if I continue smoking? ȧȧ How can I prevent a smoking relapse? What happens if I do relapse? ȧȧ What is the single best thing I can do to quit smoking? ȧȧ Will smoking cessation become easier over time? USE ALL AVAILABLE RESOURCES Quitting smoking is a life long commitment. While some people may be able to quit cold turkey, without interventions, others need counseling or medicine to kick the habit. Once you meet with your physician, you can set out on your journey to be rid of cigarettes entirely. There are so many resources available to help you on this journey. Taking advantage of the resources in your life is part two of Commit to Quit. A few suggestions are listed below, but for more visit 6 ȧȧ Find a family member or friend who can quit with you. ȧȧ Remove all cigarettes and tobacco products from your home, office and vehicle. ȧȧ Set some initial goals. These could be anything from reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke per day to quitting completely by the end of the calendar year. ȧȧ Set a date to quit, and develop a plan to make it happen. ȧȧ ȧȧ Tell your family and friends that you plan to quit smoking, and explain how they can help. Stock up on healthy snacks and sugar-free gum, which will help control cravings. ȧȧ Take things one day a time, and stay positive! VITAL SIGNS Volume 11 • Issue 3