(WAFB) - As 2016 comes to a close, many people will begin the New Year with one resolution that consistently appears on the top of people's lists, and that's to stop smoking.
Louisiana currently ranks 43 (up three spots from 2015) of 50 state for tobacco use, according to the 2016 America's Health Rankings Report from the United Health Foundation. Currently, 21.9 percent of the state's adult population smokes cigarettes. In the U.S., 17.5 percent of adults smoke. Also, Louisiana's overall health ranking is low, at 49 out of 50.
"In spite of a smoking ban in Orleans Parish, an increased cigarette tax and HUD mandating that public housing go smoke-free beginning in 2017, Louisiana citizens continue to smoke in larger than average numbers. To that end, the Trust continues to help people face their challenges by offering eligible smokers free products and services that could help them kick the addiction. To date, the Smoking Cessation Trust has enrolled nearly 64,000 members," said Mike Rogers, CEO of Smoking Cessation Trust Management Services.
In addition to helping restore smokers' health, the Smoking Cessation Trust can help smokers save hundreds of dollars annually, as smoking becomes more and more expensive. Louisiana residents who smoked cigarettes before September 1, 1998 and who are approved for inclusion in the Trust program receive free services, including cessation medications, nicotine replacement therapy, individual/group cessation counseling, telephone support line, and/or intensive cessation support services.
As 2017 approaches, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) offers the following tips to quite smoking:
- Set a Quit Date: Pick a date to stop smoking. This will give you time to prepare. Avoid choosing a day when you know you'll be busy or stressed, or tempted to smoke.
- Tell Family and Friends that You are Trying to Quit: Telling family, friends, a coworkers that you are trying to quit can increase the chance's of success. By sharing your goal with others, you can receive the support you need from family and friends.
- Plan for Challenges while Quitting: Stopping smoking is about more than just dealing with nicotine cravings. Many smokers must also work through habitual tendencies surrounding cigarette use. Going to a group workshop can help teach smokers how to work through cravings triggered by stress, boredom, or nervousness. Many hospital offer cessation counseling.
- Remove Cigarettes and other Tobacco from Your Home, Car, and Job: Removing things that remind you of smoking will get you ready to quit. A few tips include:
- Throw away all cigarettes, matches, lighters, and ashtrays, includes the ones in your car.
- Don't save a pack "just in case." Keeping even just one pack makes it easier to start smoking again.
- Remove the smell of cigarettes from your life by cleaning your clothes and car.
- Have your dentist clean your teeth to get rid of stains from smoking. Your teeth will look great, and when you quit, they will stay that way.
- Talk with Your Doctor about Nicotine Replacement Therapy of Pharmaceutical Help: Smokers should discuss cessation therapies with their doctor. The Smoking Cessation Trust provides access to all recommended cessation methods. Knowing an individual's medical history, a doctor can suggest pharmaceuticals or a nicotine replacement therapy that will work best. Doctors can also speak to the benefits of quitting and what to expect.
For more information, to see testimonials of former smokers, or to sign up for the Smoking Cessation Trust, visit www.smokefreela.org, or call 504-529-5665 or toll free at 1-855-259-6346.