Tennessee Quit Week _ Feb. 4-8 _ is the annual event that encourages those who are smoking, vaping, or using smokeless tobacco to begin their quit journeys. Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in Tennessee, yet the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department understands the difficulty of quitting nicotine in any form. They offer these small yet effective steps to help you quit:
- If you have not thought about quitting, begin to consider it:
“Find a personal reason to quit that works for you, like protecting your children’s health, your health, or saving money,” says Health Department Tobacco Prevention Coordinator Paula Collier,“Develop a quit motto like I deserve to be smoke free! Begin to imagine yourself not smoking, vaping, or chewing.”
- If you’ve been thinking about it, start collecting your resources:
The confidential Tennessee Quit Line connects you with 2 weeks of free nicotine replacement patches and a trained tobacco addiction counselor. The counselor won’t tell you what to do but rather will help you develop a quit plan that works for your lifestyle. Call 1-800-784-8669 (1-800-QUIT-NOW).
For pregnant women who smoke, the Health Department offers the Baby & Me Tobacco Free program. Enrolled moms who remain tobacco-free during their pregnancy and during the first year postpartum will receive a $25 diaper voucher per month for the first year of baby’s life (a total of $300/year). Call (423) 209-8320 for more information.
Making yourself accountable to others greatly increases your chances. Share your quit plan and quit date with your family and friends. The Health Department’s Tobacco Cessation Resource Guidelists local cessation classes where you can begin your journey with other like-minded smokers. Talk about your journey with others who want you to succeed!
Make an appointment with your healthcare provider and include him or her in your quit plan. Ask if medication-assisted cessation is right for you. If you are a healthcare provider, ask your patients about how you can help them quit and help them overcome the obstacles to doing so.
- If you’ve tried and did not succeed, begin to restart the process:
Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” He built upon his failures and eventually was successful. Don’t give up, you deserve a smoke free life, and remember: quitters are winners!
For more resources to help you quit, visit the Health Department’s Tobacco Prevention and Education page, or call (423) 209-8285.