The CDC estimates nearly 40 million adults in the U.S. still smoke cigarettes. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability and death nationwide. And the CDC considers tobacco use an epidemic in Michigan. The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) reports that tobacco kills more people in our state than AIDS, alcohol, auto accidents, drug overdoses, murders and suicides combined. But there is some good news. The number of smokers across the U.S. is waning. This means you could join the club and cut smoking completely from your life, which might just save it. With COVID-19 still a serious concern, 2021 may be the year you decide it’s time to quit for good.
In fact, if you resolve to put down the pack in 2021, you can help prevent cardiovascular disease, a multitude of cancers, birth complications and more. There’s no time like the present, and presently, there are a myriad of programs and resources to help you quit—forever. The process of quitting can be as nasty as the habit itself; cigarettes are highly addictive. If you struggle with your vow to quit this year, turn to one of the following before turning back into a smoker.
Call the quitline.
Did you know that Michigan offers a completely free quitline? If you call, a trained professional will point you to resources and programs, as well as send additional information on quitting. Simply answer a few questions and talk with the “quit coach” about your best means of staying smoke-free. You can reach the quitline to enroll at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8699).
Consult with your care provider.
A visit to the doctor’s office might help you squash the smokes. There are several prescription drugs to help those committed to quitting, and your primary care provider could recommend the right one for you. Schedule a visit and tell your provider about your resolution to quit—it’s likely they’ll commend your commitment to quit and talk to you about the possibility of medical options. Priority Health members can use Cost Estimator to find the lowest costs and closest pharmacies.
Try something else.
For self-proclaimed “creatures of habit” that rely on routine or fixation, a new “shtick” might replace a smoking addiction. Mints, hard candies, toothpicks—even chewing gum—make great cigarette substitutes. You could also look into over-the-counter nicotine patches or throat lozenges to help ween you off the addictive additives in cigarettes.
Engage in a personalized wellness experience.
Priority Health members have access to Wellbeing Hub where they can find information about programs and resources to help heighten their health and wellness, based on their health assessment and health insurance plan. Tools such as the Wellbeing Hub are a custom approach, in that, based on your engagement, the experience enhances to meet your individual needs, and makes suggestions based on the content you seek. Other health insurance providers have programs, so check with your plan or ask your agent or employer about options.
Tell everyone you know.
When it comes to setting big goals to make major lifestyle changes, your friends and family serve as champions in your effort. Turn those closest to you into a bona fide support group to help you stave off cravings and stay smoke-free. Take it a step further and share your commitment to stop smoking on all of your favorite social channels. Even the folks you rarely see or visit can help you from afar. Positive comments on your social posts can be the difference between victory or relapse.
If these ideas don’t help, there are many other tips, tricks, tools and resources to help you keep your resolution to quit smoking. Search the web or consult with your health care provider to seek additional options. Remember, when it comes to smoking cessation, everyone’s on your side this year—so don’t quit quitting.