Nov. 15 will mark the 37th anniversary of the Great American Smokeout: A “holiday” challenging smokers to either make a plan to quit in the near future – or, if they dare, to test-drive quitting for at least 24 hours.
But are short-term quitting jaunts pointless?
Not one bit, says URMC smoking cessation expert Dr. Scott McIntosh. In fact, short-term quitting stints like the Smokeout provide smokers with valuable insights, allowing them to pinpoint their own unique stumbling blocks and strategize ways surmount them the next time they formally quit (for many, around New Year’s).
Regardless of whether smokers use the Nov. 15 holiday to quit for a day or to quit for life, McIntosh makes it clear: Quitting isn’t merely “kicking the habit.” Smokers must work to overcome a bona fide addiction and must plan accordingly (though a lucky few do manage to stop “cold turkey”).
The good news? Planning (and “quitting practice”) pays off. What’s more, smart smokers who leverage a few proven strategies in their quit plan – enlisting social support, learning stress management techniques, and tapping the power of nicotine-replacement medication – will eventually succeed in the long-term.
In the Rochester area, the Center for Community Health’s Healthy Living Center offers a Tobacco Dependence Program designed to help those who use tobacco improve their health, regardless of their desire to stop. Individual counseling is available. Contact them at (585) 530-2050.
To learn more about building a successful quit plan and the immediate and longer-term health boons of stopping smoking, watch the clip below.