November 17th is the Great American Smokeout
Every year the third Thursday of November is the Annual Great American Smoke Out (GASO). It’s the chance for you or a loved one to join thousands of other smokers in quitting together. The first official Great American Smoke Out started in California on November 18th, 1976, with nearly 1 million people quitting smoking for the day.
If November 17th doesn’t work for you, the holidays make an excellent opportunity for quit attempts. The first step to any quit attempt is choosing a quit date. A quit date should be memorable or meaningful. Holiday weekends are an ideal time to start your quit journey. Spending a weekend with people in your support network will help keep your hands busy and your mind off smoking. The first 72 hours of a quit attempt are the hardest due to nicotine withdrawal. Holiday weekends disrupt weekly routines, creating a space for new behaviors to take hold. On the Monday after a holiday weekend, you can celebrate with a 72-hour milestone reward with the money you saved from not smoking over the weekend. By the end of the long weekend, you’ll be breathing easier and feeling more energetic.
This year for a limited time from October 31st to November 30th, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline is providing eight weeks of Nicotine Replacement therapy instead of the usual two weeks. You can call 1-800-QuitNow or sign up online for Nicotine Patches, Lozenges, or Gum.
Another resource to visit to create a quit plan can be found at: https://smokefree.gov/build-your-quit-plan
Making a quit plan only takes about 10 minutes and involves the following:
- Pick a Quit Date. A quit date should be close enough that you won’t change your mind but far enough away that you can prepare.
- Let Loved ones know you are quitting. Your family can be great motivators in helping you stay on task.
- Plan to remove reminders of smoking the night before the quit date. Remove ashtrays, butt cans, lighters, and any smoking paraphernalia that will make it easy to relapse.
- Identify your reasons for quitting smoking. You want to improve overall health, or you want to save money. Some people find it helpful to write these reasons down, it could be that your children don’t like the smell, or you might want to see grandchildren graduate high school.
- Identify your smoking triggers. Take note of when and where you smoke. Triggers can be emotional, habitual, or social. Identifying triggers will help you avoid routines and habits leading to a cigarette.
- Develop Coping Strategies. You can fight the cravings with Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), physical activity, deep breathing, or talking to a friend or family member. Make a list of activities you can turn to when a craving hits. Keep your mind and body busy, and know that the urge will pass in 10 to 15 minutes.
- Have Places you can turn to for immediate Help
Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline: Quit Coaches available through calls, texts, or online.
SmokefreeTXT: A mobile text messaging service designed for adults and young adults across the United States who are trying to quit smoking.
Quit smoking Apps: Mobile phone applications can help you prepare to quit, provide support, and track your progress.