We’re all aware of the harmful consequences of smoking and vaping, such as respiratory infections, asthma, and cancer – but doctors warn that smoking and vaping can also lead to more severe cases of disorders like COVID-19.
Most tobacco users are unable to quit due to their nicotine addiction and lack of support. However, millions of people have quit, and if you want to do the same, there are resources and help available.
Kerry Thieme, a health educator with Marshfield Clinic Health System’s Security Health Plan program, stated that drugs, combined with the right coaching, can help you quit smoking.
The Wisconsin Tobacco Quit-line is run by Marshfield Clinic Health System, and other states have similar programs to help individuals quit smoking. Members of the Security Health Plan can also get free health coaching through a nicotine-free program. Health coaches have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in health and years of expertise assisting people in quitting smoking.
Most people have pharmacy coverage for tobacco cessation medications, according to Thieme, but Security Health Plan Medicare Advantage participants may be eligible for free patches, lozenges, or gum.
“We advise Security Health Plan members to discuss cessation medication with their doctors.” “However, we can educate members on their tobacco cessation pharmacy benefits and how to utilize them responsibly,” she said.
What to Expect When Calling a Quit Line
You’ll speak with a health advisor when you call the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line or Security Health Plan. They’ll ask you questions like how much you smoke, vape, or chew, what motivates you to quit, and when you want to quit to help you design a strategy that’s perfect for you.
Tips for quitting smoking
A quit-line or a Security Health Strategy health coach will assess each person and develop a plan that is tailored to their needs. Here are five pointers to get you going in the right direction:
1. Seek assistance.
Wisconsin Quit-line is a free service that is provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can contact the quit-line for support as many times as you want. Call 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) or go to their website to register. The Nicotine-Free program is provided at no additional cost to Security Health Plan or Family Health Center participants. For further information, call 1-833-933-9355 (TTY 711).
Additionally, contact or text someone you know you can rely on for support during this time.
2. Establish a deadline for quitting.
Setting a quit date a few days or weeks in the future, rather than trying to quit right away, has been shown to be beneficial. This will give you enough time to plan your exit.
Working with a health coach or a support person to set a goal date will assist you in developing a strategy and achieving your objective.
“It’s never too late to quit,” Thieme added, “and you don’t have to do it alone.” “There are a variety of strategies to break the habit, and a health coach can assist you in determining which one is most effective for you.”
3. Consider why you want to stop smoking.
Everyone’s motivations for quitting are varied. Remind yourself why you’re quitting. Calculate how much money you’ll save and determine what you’ll do with it.
Tobacco usage shortens your life by seven to eight years, according to studies. Quitting smoking or using nicotine, on the other hand, can reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke in as little as 24 hours.
“On your quest to be nicotine free, it’s easier to tackle one day at a time,” Thieme added.
4. Use drugs or nicotine replacement treatment to help you quit smoking.
The Wisconsin Quit-line provides two weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy (nicotine patch, gum, or lozenge) as well as self-help literature. Other programs can help you get these medications and educate you on how to take them properly.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved these products, and they are recognized to assist people in quitting smoking.
“They’re safer than tobacco or vaping goods since they don’t contain harmful poisons,” Thieme explained. “If you decide to utilize a smoking cessation drug, talk to your doctor about which medicine is appropriate for you.”
5. Stay active and avoid irritants.
It’s critical to have a plan in place to keep oneself occupied when cravings strike. Smoking a cigarette or vaping is sometimes a habit or a way to “relieve tension.” Chewing gum, candy, or drinking water will keep your mouth occupied.
Change your routine if you’re desiring nicotine. You could try distracting yourself by going for a walk or jog.
Do what you think is best for you.
These are merely suggestions to assist you in kicking the bad habit. Make every effort to resist the impulse to use cigarettes or nicotine. If you have any questions or would want to learn more about the services available, contact your primary care practitioner.