Bad habits are hard to quit. Biting your nails, drinking sodas, watching too much television… too much of anything can lead to problems. And if you’ve tried giving up your favorite vice, you’ve known it’s a struggle.
I was compensated by Med-IQ through an educational grant from Pfizer, Inc. and the Coverys Foundation to write about smoking cessation. All opinions are my own.
But when that habit becomes a true addiction, it can be even harder – almost impossible – to stop. If someone you love smokes cigarettes, you likely know what this looks like. Convincing someone who smokes to stop can be tough – and getting them to truly quit for good can be even tougher. And despite their best efforts, and even their most earnest desires to quit, many smokers just can’t quit.
For me, it was my mother-in-law. She smoked for many many years and was a chain smoker. However, despite our best efforts, we couldn’t convince her to quit. We tried everything under the sun; we forbid her from holding her new granddaughter (more for our daughter’s health as well), talked about the price of cigarettes, and how much she would save if she didn’t smoke. We even discussed that we wanted her not just to stop smoking for herself – but for her family. After all, you only get two sets of grandparents, and we wanted her to live a long and healthy life so she could be around to watch her grandchildren grow up.
I realize now that simply asking her to stop and telling her why we wanted her to quit wasn’t going to cut it. Most people need more than good intentions to stop smoking – they need tools to help them cut the habit for good. That’s why I’ve partnered with Med-IQ to help raise awareness around smoking cessation. This accredited medical education company provides an exceptional educational experience for physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals – and shares great information around topics that matter, like smoking cessation.
Lately, more and more people have turned to e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid. Many believe them to be healthier alternatives to regular cigarettes, and with fruit-inspired scents and flavors, consider them tastier, too. Unfortunately, e-cigarettes have not been determined to be a helpful tool to stop smoking. Despite promoting their products as smoking cessation aids, e-cigarette companies have not received FDA approval to validate their claims.
Instead, the best strategy to stop smoking has proven to be a combination of counseling paired with smoking cessation aids like nicotine replacement therapy (patches, lozenges, gum, inhalers, or nasal spray) or prescribed medication like Chantix/Varenicline or Zyban/Wellbutrin/Bupropion.
If you or someone in your life is ready to stop smoking, don’t turn to e-cigarettes. Instead, leverage one of the many tried-and-true resources out there that have been proven to help millions cut their nicotine addiction. A conversation with your healthcare provider can be a great place to start. They can advise you on strategies to help and point you to local resources.
Additionally, anyone anywhere can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW. This hotline is active in each state and can provide free counseling, printed resources, and local referrals. Some can even provide access to smoking cessation medication at little to no cost. And for those who would prefer to find their information online, Smokefree.gov is a wonderful resource.
By equipping yourself with the tools and knowledge to combat nicotine addiction, you can help yourself, your loved ones, and those in your community to stop smoking for good. Share these resources with those who need them and remember – e-cigarettes are no substitute for a true smoking cessation strategy.
*Med-IQ is conducting an anonymous survey and would appreciate your input. The survey, which includes additional education on this topic, will take less than 10 minutes to complete. Survey responses are shared only in aggregate.
Your responses to these survey questions will provide Med-IQ with important information about your views on and experiences with smoking cigarettes and vaping e-cigarettes. Your responses will be used to identify additional opportunities to help people stop smoking and vaping and educate their healthcare providers.
Once you’ve completed the survey, you will have the option of providing your email address to be entered into a drawing administered by SOMA Strategies to win 1 of 10 $100 VISA gift cards. If you choose to enter, email addresses are used only to randomly draw the winners and notify them of their prize.
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