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Steps to Finally Kicking the Habit!

Everyday studies are published, showing the health impact smoking has on both the smoker and those around them. From heart disease to various types of cancer, smoking is known to be harmful to the health of those breathing firsthand, secondhand as well as thirdhand smoke, but what about the financial impact?

According to the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement’s website, 23.6 % of Arkansans, in 2016, were reported to be smokers costing the state’s Medicaid system $242 million. Additionally, smoking costs Arkansas’ entire health care system approximately $1.2 billion. But what about the cost to the smoker? According to a recent study by WalletHub, smoking can cost the average smoker in the state of Arkansas over $1.2 million over a lifetime. These costs both to the state and the individual can be eliminated by simply kicking the habit.

Making the decision to quit can be very difficult, but it is never too late to quit. Each year 51.3% of Arkansas smokers quit for at least one or more days. Many people try to quit 2-3 times before they quit for good. However, each time you try to quit, you will have more success achieving your goal. Nicotine is a powerful addiction. By following these steps, provided by Jessica Rogers, APRN and Tobacco Treatment Specialist at NEA Baptist, you may finally be able to kick the habit and improve not only your health but that those around you are impacted by your smoking.

Tips to Help You Quit:
1. Make the decision to quit
2. Ask your family, friends, and coworkers for support. Let them know you will be starting this journey.
3. Remove ALL cigarettes, ashtrays, and cigarette lighters from your home or car
4. Set a quit date and stick to it
5. Avoid relapse triggers (stay away from smoking areas and be cautious around other smokers)
6. Stay active and exercise- improve your mood other ways rather than picking up a cigarette. Breathe deeply when you feel the urge to smoke and remind yourself why you made this decision.
7. Reward yourself: save money that you would have used on cigarettes and treat yourself! At over $6.00 per pack you could save more than $2,000 per year and more than $20,000 in 10 years.

Remember: It is never too late to quit! 15 years after quitting, your risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s. Quitting smoking lowers your risk of diabetes, enables blood vessels to work better, and decreases stress on your heart and lungs. By finally kicking the habit, you will live a longer and heathier life, have more energy and be able to breathe better, while lowering your risk for heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and cancer.
The NEA Baptist Charitable Foundation’s Wellness Works program is starting a class on smoking cessation. If you are interested in joining the class and finally kicking the habit, please contact Erica Huffstetler with Wellness Works by following this link.

Jessica Rogers, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, TTS
NEA Baptist Wellness Clinic