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Is There an Easy Way to Quit?

August 15, 2011

What is the best way to quit smoking? According to the latest research, the most effective way to quit is by participating in a behavior modification program (such as FFS Online) and combining that with an FDA-approved medication. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Ha! Becoming smokefree is anything but simple, yet some folks will try almost anything that promises to a quicker, easier way to quit smoking. You can’t wave a magic wand and suddenly be done with the process of quitting. That’s why a program like FFS Online can be helpful since it guides you through the rough patches to your new, smokefree life.

Many FFS Online participants have asked about using other tobacco products to deal with cravings as they quit smoking cigarettes. Here’s why using those other tobacco products isn’t a good way to quit:

Smokeless Tobacco
Smokeless tobacco includes chewing tobacco, snuff, snus and some other new products. Some people think that using smokeless tobacco is a safe alternative to smoking but that’s not the case. Smokeless tobacco has 28 cancer-causing agents and it increases the risk of developing cancer in the mouth, gums, and pancreas. The amount of nicotine that is absorbed from smokeless tobacco is 3 to 4 times the amount delivered by a cigarette. Learn more about smokeless tobacco.

Cigars
Cigars contain many of the same addictive, toxic and cancer-causing compounds found in cigarettes. A single large cigar can contain as much tobacco as an entire pack of cigarettes. The health risks from smoking cigars are similar to those from smoking cigarettes, including 4 to 10 times the risk of dying from oral, esophageal or laryngeal cancer in comparison to nonsmokers. People who smoke cigars heavily or inhale deeply also increase their risk of developing COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Learn more about cigars.

Hookahs or Water Pipes
Hookahs, also called water pipes, are relatively new to the U.S. but hookah bars are growing in popularity. Some people believe that hookah use is harmless. Not so! Because a typical hookah session lasts 40 – 45 minutes, hookah users have increased exposure to the dangerous chemicals in tobacco smoke. Lung cancer and other diseases have been linked to hookah use.

e-Cigarettes
There is no scientific evidence establishing the safety of e-cigarettes. The FDA has found that these products contain cancer-causing agents and toxic chemicals, including the ingredients found in anti-freeze. While some distributors directly or indirectly market e-cigarettes for smoking cessation, there is no scientific evidence that demonstrates these products are safe or effective at helping smokers quit.

You have the best chance of quitting for good when you do the hard work of proceeding through a program like FFS Online and you use an FDA-approved medication. If those medications aren’t the right choice for you, you can still quit by trying your hardest with FFS Online.

As you go through the next couple of weeks:

1. Seek support. Many FFS Online participants are willing to lend you a hand and supportive posts on the Message Boards. Use that support!
2. Keep your hands busy. You can play a free computer baseball game that will help the American Lung Association and you might even win tickets to a World Series game. Register for Go to Bat.
3. Call the Lung HelpLine if you have questions about quitting, medications, or any lung health topic. It’s free and our counselors are available from 8:00 a.m. until midnight Eastern Time, seven days a week. You can reach the HelpLine by calling 800-548-8252.
4. Look up your local American Lung Association office and get involved. Volunteer by putting together a climb or walk team, ask about how you can support advocacy efforts in your state to protect your lung health, or ask if there is anything you can do where you live or work to Fight for Air.
5. Reward yourself for the hard work you’re doing. It’s important to celebrate milestones along the way and to treat yourself to something you enjoy. Reinforcing your new behavior in a positive way will help you to remain smokefree.
I’ll see you on the Message Boards!  :-)   Mary Ella

Don’t forget: If you're in the Premium program and want help fast on the Message Boards, put "HELP NOW" in the subject line of your post. If you're looking to offer help, watch for those, "HELP NOW" posts and alert your other FFS Online buddies to offer some assistance as well.


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