The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department understands the difficulty of quitting smoking or smokeless tobacco. We want to celebrate those who have met the challenge and quit! For those still smoking, we offer these small yet effective steps:
- 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, better health for you, or saving money,” says Health Department Tobacco Prevention Coordinator Paula Collier,“Develop a quit motto like I deserve to be smoke free! Begin to see yourself not smoking or chewing.”
- If you’ve been thinking about it, start collecting your resources:
The free and confidential Tennessee Quit Line connects you with 2 weeks of nicotine replacement patches and a masters-level 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 info.
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.
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:
Motivational author Roy T. Bennett says, “It doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down. All that matters is you get up one more time than you were knocked down.” Quitting smoking is hard and may require several attempts. Bringing multiple resources into your plan greatly increases your chances of quitting. For example, in addition to the Quit Line, also join a cessation class, share your quit plan with your family, discuss with your health care provider, and use the patches or medication if they are right for you. The bottom line: Never stop quitting!
For more resources to help you quit, visit the Health Department’s Tobacco Prevention and Education page, or call (423) 209-8285.