As some of you may know, Kansas City played host to the National Conference on Tobacco or Health in August. This conference convened national, state, and local public health leaders to strategize on ways to reduce tobacco use, which is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States. Many sessions focused on methods to assist smokers who want to quit and new options available.
Quitting smoking lowers the risk for many forms of cancers, reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and helps you avoid premature death. Quitting smoking also protects those around you from the harms of second- and third-hand smoke.
If you think quitting is hard, just remember that over 40,000,000 Americans have successfully quit—you can, too! The important thing is to try. No one approach works best for every smoker, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t succeed the first time.
Because studies report much higher quit rates for those who receive help, the Independence Health Department is offering free, group smoking cessation classes starting in September.
The Independence Health Department smoking cessation program focuses on triggers, strategies to change behavior, and stress management related to quitting tobacco. The next class is Tuesdays, September 11 through October 16. Each session begins at 5:30 p.m., lasts approximately one hour, and will be held at the Truman Memorial Building, 416 W. Maple Ave.
Topics to be covered in the program include: reasons for quitting and removing roadblocks, preparing to quit and setting a quit date, quitting: rewards and avoiding pitfalls, staying off cigarettes and dealing with tough times, avoiding weight gain and the positive power of exercise, and becoming a non-smoker and what to do if you slip.
If you decide to quit on your own, follow these simple tips. First, set a quit date and tell your family and friends. Second, plan for the obstacles that you may face. Remember that you may have cravings but that just five minutes of moderate intensity exercise can diminish withdrawal symptoms. Third, get rid of all tobacco products from your home and car. Fourth, talk to a professional if you need any additional help. Free help can be found 24 hours a day by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
For more information or to register for a smoking cessation class, call or stop by the Independence Health Department, 515 S. Liberty St., Independence, MO 64050, 816-325-7185.
Information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Independence Health Department.