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Ways to Wellness
The recent County Health Rankings 2011 report for Oxford County showed 26 percent of adults smoke. However, when compared to data related to cigarette sales, it is suggested that this figure might be much higher.
I get so upset to see so many young adults smoking. They have no idea what they’re in for when they decided they no longer want to be controlled by a product, when used as directed, will kill them. They don’t realize how easy it is to get hooked and how hard it is to quit.
There are a lot of resource out there to help you quit. Many people have had success with the Maine tobacco Helpline at 1-800-207-1230.
I don't remember all the suggestions in the brochures and pamphlets on quitting, but I do remember what helped me. One of the first steps is to make smoking as inconvenient as possible, because opportunities to smoke breed more opportunities.
Hang out more with your non-smoking friends. Avoid situations where people are apt to smoke. Avoid the smoking area when taking breaks at work. Join a gym or health club.
Start cutting down on the amount you smoke. Not just the number of cigarettes, but specific cigarettes. If the first thing you do is light up in the morning, try brushing your teeth instead. Keep track of when you smoke. Do you smoke while watching TV, before meals, after meals, with certain foods or drink, reading, talking on the phone, etc.?
Limit the number of cigarettes you have in an hour. If you tend to light up every ten minutes, light up every fifteen - then twenty, then twenty-five. Before long you'll be down to one or two cigarettes an hour.
Make your cigarettes difficult to get at. Put them in another room if you normally have them right with you. Constantly challenge yourself. Run your errands, but leave your smokes at home. Stop smoking in certain places. Your car and home are good examples. Not only is it healthier for the people that live with your, but your house, car, hair and clothes will smell better.
Buy them a pack at a time instead of by the carton. Although the shock of the price of a carton of cigarettes should be enough to make you quit, that wears off quickly when those packs of calm and comfort are so readily available.
Another thing is to visualize your internal cavities when you smoke. See the smoke as in enters your mouth, streaming over your teeth and gums as it rushes through the windpipe into your expanding lungs. As you exhale traces of drifting smoke coat every interior surface like the windshield of your automobile. And it builds with each puff.
The best thing about quitting smoking is that all the damage that has been done will heal itself in time. It's like starting over with a clean slate, and not many things in life allow you to do that.
The most important tip is your reason for quitting. If you're quitting because somebody else wants you to, it will be near, if not, impossible. You have to want to quit to succeed.
Another online resource is “The Quit Link” (thequitlink.org). On this web site you’ll find a number of tools to help you quit and be able to read the stories from former smokers describing their journey to quitting. And with perseverance, you’ll be able to post your own story.
The River Valley Healthy Communities is a Healthy Maine Partnership and works to promote health in all its aspects in the Androscoggin River towns of Andover, Byron, Canton, Dixfield, Hanover, Mexico, Peru, Roxbury and Rumford. The office is located at 94 River St. in Rumford. You may also call 364-7408 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the Healthy Communities and its programs, visit our web site at www.rvhcc.org.