On November 15 – Commit to Quit

Great American Smokeout - Quit Smoking November 15You’ve heard the health tips a million times: exercise regularly, eat a healthy, balanced diet, and limit alcohol consumption. And the most frequently recommended tip to improve overall health and prevent disease? Don’t smoke.

Tobacco use continues to hold the top seat as the single greatest preventable cause of disease and premature death in America. It’s evidence like that which prompts Emory Healthcare, the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, and the American Cancer Society to take action towards improving awareness around the importance of quitting smoking for the 45 million Americans who still smoke cigarettes and the 15 million Americans who smoke cigars or pipes.

Each year, the American Cancer Society hosts its Great American Smokeout event to create a way to encourage current smokers to set a date, as a group, to quit. This year’s Great American Smokeout takes place on November 15, 2012, and we want to encourage those members of our community who smoke or use tobacco products to take an important step in owning their health by joining others who will choose to make November 15 their quit date.

Quitting is not easy and there’s no single approach that works for everyone, but there is help. If you are trying to quit smoking, know that you have the support of the Emory community and hundreds of individuals like you who have been through it. Carla Berg, PhD, assistant professor at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health and an expert on smoking behaviors, says most people make multiple attempts to quit before being successful, “but every time you try, you’re one step closer to actually quitting. And if you quit by age 30, research shows you’ll have the same life expectancy as someone who’s never smoked.”

And no matter what your age, your health improves every day you’re not smoking. It’s never too late to quit.

When it comes to tobacco-use, there are no hypotheticals. Smoking cigarettes causes cancer, heart disease, lung disease and stroke. As an academic medical center, we are constantly searching for treatments and cures for disease, and we are just as passionately committed to disease prevention. To that end, Emory has implemented our own tobacco-free policy to promote and support the health of our patients, families, staff and community. As of September 1, 2012, the Emory family—including the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University and Emory Healthcare—is a tobacco-free organization.

We ask that on November 15, 2012, you join us. We ask that you commit to quitting; commit to your health; commit to a better life.

If you have suggestions to share with our readers that have helped you or a loved one quit, please share them in the comments below. For more information and support resources related to quitting and the Great American Smokeout, visit the American Cancer Society’s website.

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  • Catherine W.

    I QUIT
    The first time I quit, I fooled myself into thinking “yeah, I can have a cigarette every now and then.” The every-now-and-then eventually turned into all the time. The last time I quit, I told myself I didn’t have that option. It made it easier because it was one less decision to make and it helped me stop thinking about it all the time.
    One thing that helped me: I started chewing gum or sucking on a mint every time I had a craving. It was something to do and at least partially replaced the ritual of pulling out a pack of cigarettes and lighting up. I’ve been an addicted gum chewer now for more than 20 years, but that’s an addiction I can live with!

  • David Z.

    There is a little known additional fact concerning smoking; the damage to your dental health. Smoking causes many oral health issues. We all know about oral cancer but, tissue damage and periodontal disease are also, linked to smoking.

    • Thanks David, for that helpful information. Very true and eye-opening advice!

  • Dean

    When you decide to quit smoking, enlist the help of friends and family. Tell everyone you know that you are trying to stop smoking. They can encourage and support you, and that can make all the difference for you. Also consider attending a support group or getting some behavioral therapy to assist you in quitting.

    • Emory Healthcare

      Great advice, Dean!