Addiction is a major issue in 21st century American, and Cavendish is no exception. Those most often affected-family, friends and the person themselves-can struggle with little support, resources or understanding. In order to address that in our town, Cavendish Connects is running a three part series (tobacco, alcohol & drugs), providing local resources, information and answering questions that people may have.
Part I: Tobacco: At $10 a pack, cigarettes are extremely expensive to say nothing of the negative health impacts to the smoker and to those they come in contact with (secondhand smoke). It’s a hard habit to break, but with support and the understanding that it can take many tries before successfully stopping, it can be done.
Vermont’s 802Quits provides free help in quitting
• Free gum, patches and lozenges, which are delivered to your home
• In Person Help: You can double your chances of success of quitting by getting in person support. Check the website for local Vermont Quit Partners.
• Quit Help by Phone 1-800-QUIT-Now
• Online Help Connect with former smokers and other trying to quit on-line.
• Quit on your own: Tips, tools and advice to help you quit on your own
Not Ready to Quit but know you need to do something? Second hand smoke is a very real concern, particularly for children, so if you aren’t ready to quit, consider the following:
• Cut down on your smoking. To help you cut down, you can use a nicotine replacement therapy patch to help with the cravings and reduce withdrawal.
• Stop smoking in your house or your car.
• Ask family and friends to leave their smoke outside.
• Don’t smoke when your children are present.
• Make sure there is no smoking at your child’s day care.
• Think of being around your children as “smoke-free zones” even when they are outside.
Is Secondhand Smoke a Real Thing? Yes! Secondhand smoke (SHS) has the same harmful chemicals that smokers inhale. There’s no safe level of exposure for secondhand smoke (SHS) and it can cause cancer of the lung, larynx, pharynx, nasal sinuses, brain, bladder, rectum, stomach and breast. It’s also possibly linked to the following cancers in children lymphoma, leukemia, liver and brain. Children who are around smokers are more likely to get sick, have more lung infections (bronchitis and pneumonia), are more likely to cough, wheeze, have shortness of breath, ear infections, and have increased asthma attacks and maybe even cause asthma. The reason that smoking has been banned in public places and at work is because the dangers of SHS are very real. All exposure to SHS is harmful. Learn more at Health Risks of Second Hand Smoke
What About Switching to E-Cigarettes: Also known as “vaping” E-cigarettes have not been approved by the FDA as a smoking cessation device. In fact, some people find it hard to quit smoking while they vape e-cigarettes, and end up using both products. However, it does appear that vaping is better than smoking cigarettes. Read more on e-cigarettes and other tobacco products from the Centers for Disease & Control and Prevention.
How Can I help Someone Quit? People trying to quit are more likely to do so if they feel supported. Below are some resources to help you be an advocate with out shaming or blaming them:
Why People Smoke: Smoking begins during the teen years for three primary reason-to fit in with friends; to look mature and to experiment. However, once they start, the nicotine in tobacco is highly addictive and it becomes a hard habit to break. Adult smoking is a bit more complex. Stress is a contributor, with smoking as a way to relax and calm down. Weight control is another reason given, since smokers on average weigh seven pounds less than non smokers. For some smoking gives them pleasure. They say it just makes them feel good.
If you have additional questions on this topic, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org