Smoking is a nasty addictive habit. Nurses and other medical professionals are aware of this information. Knowing something is bad for you, unfortunately, is not always enough to make you stop doing it.
Maybe you want to quit smoking. Maybe you’ve tried to quit in the past. Perhaps you have a family member or friend who tried to quit in the past. Quitting is hard. Studies show it takes eight to ten attempts to quit smoking before an individual is successful in doing so.
Great Smoke Out Day
However, quitting is a little easier with support. Therefore, Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, is the annual Great Smoke Out Day. The American Cancer Society hoped a day dedicated to providing support to people who want to quit smoking would help with the process. Every single year, there are thousands of individuals across the world who use this special day as their official quit day.
If you or someone you care about smokes, this is a day for all to finally kick the bad habit. The Division of Public Health encourages people to use a few days before the day to make a plan on how to quit.
Why You Should Quit
Smoking is the number 1 cause of many preventable deaths. Quitting smoking reduces a person’s risk of cancer, lung disease, and heart disease. It takes time for all the chemicals in cigarettes (and other tobacco products) to flush from a person’s system. So, the sooner a person quits smoking, the better.
Statistically, 36.5 million people in the United States still smoke. While the use of cigarettes in the United States – and around the world – declines, people picked up other dangerous habits for consuming tobacco, including hookahs, pipes, and cigars.
Another big reason to quit smoking is the dangers of secondhand smoke. Not only do you put yourself at risk when you smoke, you put everyone around you at risk, too. Secondhand smoke aggravates several conditions, including COPD and asthma. Secondhand smoke is especially dangerous for pregnant women and children.
Smoking While Pregnant
Furthermore, women who smoke while pregnant face a number of risks:
- Possible miscarriage
- Problems with placenta
- Increased risk of SIDS
- Increased risk of low birth weight
Just in the state of Delaware, roughly 1,400 women per year smoke during their last three months of pregnancy. Women smoking during this window of the pregnancy are even more likely to experience pre-term birth and low birth weight.
For a woman who wants to have children, using this special day to quit smoking is important. It gives her a chance to go through the process of quitting. Once a woman gets pregnant, she needs to quit cold turkey, as that is the only way to ensure a safe pregnancy for her and her unborn baby.
Support the Special Day
As a nurse, you should ask your place of employment if the staff can wear buttons or stickers and have signs up for this special day. The more support a person has, the easier quitting smoking becomes. Even if you do not smoke personally, you can wear buttons and stickers in support of this special day to help support those trying to quit.
The most important thing for anyone trying to quit to know is that it will not be easy. If you find yourself unable to quit cold turkey, find a way to dial back on the amount you smoke in a day. Do research and learn what is in the cigarettes you consume. Don’t forget to check out the pictures of what the cigarettes do to your body. Sometimes this information is just shocking enough to help you – or someone you care about – quit.
For more on quitting smoking, check out our article, “Is Quitting Smoking On Your Calendar?”