I’d like to remind readers to thank a co-worker, friend or family member who has quit vaping, smoking, or using other tobacco products. Many users say quitting is the hardest thing they have ever done and any amount of recognition can help someone stay quit.
Nicotine is the very addictive substance in tobacco and many vape products. As a result, repeated tobacco and nicotine use is not a habit, it’s an addiction that should be treated as a chronic relapsing condition. It takes most people with a nicotine addiction several tries to quit for good. So reach out to those who have conquered this addiction. Let them know you are proud of how hard they’re working to better their wellbeing. Thank them for improving their health and the health of the people around them.
Even though the holidays can be a tough time to quit, they are a great time to support your friends and loved ones who are trying to quit vaping, smoking or other tobacco products. Even if they have tried quitting in the past, encourage them to keep trying – they learn something new every time they try to quit. And share with them the many resources available in MA to help them reach their goal.
The most effective way to quit is to use FDA-approved medicines and coaching support together. Nicotine users of all kinds can call 1-800-QUT NOW (1-800-784-8669) for free coaching from the Massachusetts Smokers’ Helpline through phone, web, and text 24 hours each day, seven days a week (except Thanksgiving and Christmas) or enroll online through KeepTryingMA.org. Adults who work with a coach can now receive up to eight weeks of free nicotine patches, gum or lozenges (with medical eligibility) through the Smokers’ Helpline.
Smokers and vapers who get support and use medicines to quit are nearly three times as likely to quit for good as those who try to quit on their own. Quitting is hard—give thanks to someone in your life for quitting or for trying to quit. Every email, text message, phone call, or encouraging word makes a difference.
Edgar Duran Elmudesi, MSW
Metro Boston Tobacco-Free Community Partnership