The third Thursday of November marks the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout (GASO) each 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 requires more than just luck. For the best success, your plan should include one or more of these options.

The American Cancer Society outlines some ways to prepare for your quit day:

• Pick the date. Mark it on your calendar.

• Tell friends and family about your quit day.

• Download the Quit Clock desktop helper from www.cancer.org/smokeout. The Quit Clock allows you to plug your quit day into your computer, and then counts down to the selected day. Each morning, you get a new tip to help you stop using tobacco.

• 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 from the American Cancer Society:

• 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.

The Great American Smokeout will be observed on November 15 this year. For help quitting, call the American Cancer Society, any time, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345. 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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