Bits and Bytes by Athena

 

 

Opinions

Opinions

By Athena Whitty
Editor in Chief

 

Dear Athena,

Since smoking won’t be allowed anywhere on campus after this spring semester, I need help quitting – for good this time. I’ve tried to stop before, and I’ve even been successful for short periods, but I always seem to fall back into my old habits. How can I quit for good?

Sincerely,
Smokin’ Sammy

 

Dear Smokin’ Sammy,

As of July 1, smoking will be prohibited everywhere on campus, making this a great time to decide to quit – and you’re in good company.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more former smokers today than current ones, and with health risks including multiple forms of cancer, heart disease, stroke, infertility and more, there’s no wonder.
The first thing you can try is to pick a quit date and stick to it. Mark the date on your calendar.

Prior to your quit date, make a list of things you can do instead when a craving to smoke arises.

Once the designated date has arrived, get rid of any remaining ashtrays, lighters, and
any other smoking related items. This will help combat the urges to smoke, by making it
not easily accessible, and removing the constant lurking reminder.

Breaking a smoking habit is a two-part process. One is breaking the addiction, and the other is stopping the physical habit of smoking.

Graphic by Karen Hancock  "US Deaths Attributed to Smoking"

Graphic by Karen Hancock
“US Deaths Attributed to Smoking”

 

To aid in breaking the physical habit, carry small snacks or something to chew on to fight cravings: lollipops, gum, carrot sticks, sunflower seeds, Corn Nuts, or even toothpicks, are all possible alternatives.

People attempting to quit will often have a relapse or slip-up. Keep in mind that this is a common issue. It doesn’t mean defeat during an attempt to quit, just that there was a hiccup.

If this happens to you, don’t give up, just start over. The amount of time between slips
will get longer and longer until, eventually, there won’t be anymore relapses.

Find more resources for quitting at www.cdc.gov/tobacco/quit_smoking, smokefree.gov,
or visit the Lewis and Clark Family Health Clinic’s webpage at www.lc.edu/FHC for materials and a help line you can call if you need more assistance.

 

Contact Athena at athenawhitty@yahoo.com