RENO, NV – On Thursday, November 15, many smokers will pledge to go smoke-free, even if it’s just for one day. The Great American Smokeout has provided an opportunity for smokers to commit to leading healthier lives for more than 40 years, and the Washoe County Health District has cessation resources, tools, and information to support them in their efforts. The Great American Smokeout is an opportunity for smokers to kick the habit for at least one day with the hope that it could lead to permanent change. The Health District encourages tobacco users to take up the one-day challenge that can lead to a long-term plan to quit for good. The GetHealthyWashoe.com website has cessation resources to help tobacco users quit using tobacco, as well as information about e-cigarettes and avoiding secondhand smoke.
Nationally, cigarette smoking rates have declined significantly since 1965, when 42 percent of adults smoked. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that rate was less than 14 percent in 2017. In Washoe County, 15.3 percent of adults reported smoking cigarettes in 2016. Use of e-cigarettes continues to increase, particularly among young people, with 21.8 percent of Washoe County high school students reporting that they used e-cigarettes in a 30-day period in 2017.
The most effective way to quit smoking is to get help from quitting professionals, or coaches, combined with quit medications. “Many of us have heard of someone that quit smoking ‘cold turkey,’ but only 1 in 10 people are able to quit without the help of a coach or quit medication,” said Washoe County District Health Officer Kevin Dick. “The Quitline can provide people with both of these resources,” Dick said.
Nevada residents can contact the Nevada Tobacco Quitline 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) to access a phone-based service at no cost to the caller. Quitline coaches are trained professionals that offer personalized, culturally-sensitive coaching. The Quitline can serve anyone age 13 or older, and callers will speak with a coach who can offer quitting assistance in any language. The Quitline is available Monday through Sunday, from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. Through the Quitline program, people may be eligible to receive a free supply of nicotine replacement patches, gum, or lozenges. Quitline coaches can provide information about dealing with stress and fighting cravings, as well as coping with weight gain and other issues that occur when people attempt to quit smoking.
While some people are choosing to use products like e-cigarettes to help them to quit smoking, it is important to note that these products have not been approved by the FDA as smoking cessation tools. E-cigarettes also contain toxins and cancer-causing chemicals. For those that are struggling to stop using e-cigarettes, the Quitline’s services include help with quitting cigarettes and other tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
# # #