Quitting the Use of Tobacco is Challenging
1/23/2012 4:30 PM
There is no question that quitting the use of tobacco can be one of the most challenging and daunting things a person will ever do. Even the most committed person on an average can make over seven attempts before successfully quitting. Learning from each quit and trying again is vital. So a successful quit begins with the commitment by the tobacco user and the determination to keep going in the face of what may feel like previous failures. An important thing to remember is that more people have successfully quit than are using tobacco today. Quitting tobacco is hard but doable.
Here are some of the ingredients that lead to a successful quit:
- Committing to quitting and believing you can be successful;
- Having the support of family and friends;
- Engaging your healthcare provider &/or pharmacist;
- Using cessation medications at the right dose and duration;
- Working in a tobacco-free environment; and
- Accessing coaching help from either a Quitline, such as QuitlineNC, or a quit program.
Research studies have shown that cessation medications properly taken can double a person’s chances of successfully quitting. The same is true for using sustained coaching, When done in conjunction with each other, tobacco users can triple their chances of successfully quitting. Like all medications, they are only effective if taken for a sufficient period of time. Depending on a person’s history of tobacco use both in terms of years used and amount used, the need for counseling &/or medications can be as much as six months. Staying in close contact with your healthcare provider and pharmacist can improve your chances of successfully quitting.
In North Carolina, callers who contacted the QuitlineNC and received both coaching and nicotine replacement therapy gum were more successful in quitting than those who only received coaching. The NC State Health Plan pays the costs of members for the QuitlineNC calls and medications sent by QuitlineNC.
Increasing the cost of tobacco products is highly correlated to decreasing adult and youth tobacco user rates. Unfortunately NC currently has one of the lowest cigarette taxes in the nation. Moving our tax to the national average will help thousands in North Carolina on fixed incomes and young people to successfully quit.
Have you quit recently? What helped you be successful?