November 21 marks the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout (GASO) this year. This event encourages smokers to make a plan to quit or to quit for 24 hours beginning that day.

Decide now on your own plan to quit! Some options include using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), joining a cessation class, going to Nicotine Anonymous meetings, and using self-help books and pamphlets.

Quitting tobacco is a journey and not something you can complete in one day. For the best success, your plan should include one or more of these options.

Here are some ways to prepare for your quit day:

• Pick the date. Mark it on your calendar.

• Tell friends and family about your quit day.

• Get rid of anything that reminds you of smoking (ash trays, cigarette butts, lighters, etc.).

• Make it less tempting to smoke by not allowing smoking in your home or your car.

• Stock up on oral substitutes- sugarless gum, carrot sticks, or hard candy.

• Think back to your past attempts to quit. Think about what worked and what did not work for you.

To make your quit day more successful, follow these suggestions:

• Do not use tobacco- not even one puff or chew!

• Stay active- try walking, exercising, or doing other activities or hobbies.

• Drink lots of water.

• Start using NRT, if that is your plan.

• Attend a cessation class or start following a self-help plan.

• Avoid situations where the urge to use tobacco is strong.

• Limit or avoid alcohol.

• Think about changing your routine: Use a different route to get to work. Drink tea instead of coffee. Eat breakfast in a different place or eat different foods.

For help quitting, call the Ohio Tobacco Quit Line, any time, day or night, at 1-800-QUIT-NOW. Receive free online help at www.ohio.quitlogix.org.

The Hocking County Health Department also offers tobacco cessation services to anyone needing help to quit. Call 740-385-3030 to speak to a local tobacco treatment specialist.

Brittney Tschudy, BSH, RN, TTS Hocking County Health Department, writes a weekly column published in The Logan Daily News.

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