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Tobacco Free in 2018

About 3.5 million Californians currently smoke or use tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, roughly 70% say that they would like to quit.

Posted: Jan. 2, 2018 4:04 PM
Updated: Jan. 2, 2018 4:08 PM

About 3.5 million Californians currently smoke or use tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, roughly
70% say that they would like to quit. If you are one of the many local smokers who made a resolution
to be tobacco free in 2018 there is and a lot of help available, and many good reasons to stop. For
example, quitting will save the average smoker more than $2,500 a year. On top of that, tobacco is still
the number one cause of preventable death and disease in the United States. Quitting reduces your risk
for numerous diseases caused by tobacco and will leave you feeling stronger and healthier in the New
Year.

You may have tried to quit before and found it difficult, that’s not unusual. Most smokers who want to
quit try several times before they succeed, but there are many steps you can take that improve your
chances of quitting for good. More help is available than ever before, the resources available to help
make your cessation attempt successful increase every year.

There are multiple methods you can try to quit tobacco. Oddly enough the one most commonly used,
cold turkey, is also the least successful. Only about 4% of tobacco users are able to stop and stay
stopped on any given unplanned, unassisted attempt. Adding medication or counseling support or a
combination of both increases success rates dramatically. Smokers who use local cessation resources,
such as a support group, increase their long term success rates up to four times. Those who use a
combination of medications, group support and medical guidance can have long term success of 40%,
about 10 times the success rate of cold turkey.

There are several strategies that nearly all successful long term quitters employ, when you attempt to
kick the habit you will certainly be more likely to succeed if you incorporate these methods into your
cessation attempt:

 Make a quit plan, set a date and prepare yourself ahead of time.
 Tell your loved ones about your plan, share your date with them and ask for their support.
 Write down your reasons for quitting and post copies where you will see them often.
 See your Doctor or Pharmacist and discuss your plan to quit, talk about medicines that may help
you quit smoking. Some medications need to be started before your quit date, please don’t skip
this step, everyone does better with medical help.
 Know where to get help with the process and plan to use it, with support your chances of
success increase dramatically. The resources below are all free, look them over before your
quit date and decide which seem right for you.

There are many local, state and national sources of support. California provides the Smokers’ Helpline
at 1-800-NO-BUTTS (800-662-8887), they offer phone and text based support in multiple languages and
have special services for tobacco chewers, pregnant smokers, and teens. Sign up by calling the 800
number or by visiting their website, nobutts.org. Their online service offers free self-help materials on a
variety of cessation related topics.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides help for all tobacco users through their website at
http://smokefree.gov/. They offer an excellent text based service, SmokefreeTXT, along with apps and
online resources targeted to teens, women and veterans. All services are free and offer help in quitting
any type of tobacco product, including e-cigarettes. Another free online service is the American Legacy
Foundation’s EX site, which features the EX Plan. It is a free, personalized quit smoking program that
shows smokers a new way to think about quitting. It’s based on personal experiences from ex-smokers,
as well as the latest scientific research from the experts at Mayo Clinic. It’s located at
http://www.becomeanex.org/.

In Butte County there are free support groups for tobacco cessation and awareness offered in Chico,
Paradise and Oroville, all are open to the public:

 Chico –Thursdays from 1:00 – 2:00 at the Iversen Wellness and Recovery Center, 492 Rio Lindo,
Ave. For more information call 530-879-3311.
 Paradise – Thursdays from 12:00 – 1:00 at The HUB Wellness and Recovery Center, 5910 Clark
Rd., Suite T. Call 530-877-5845 for more information.
 Oroville – Eight Week Cessation group, Wednesday evenings 5 – 6:30 PM,
Feather River Tribal Health Clinic, 2145 5th Ave.

The next group starts Jan. 17th, for more information call 530-5345394, ext. 304 and ask for Carl Carlson.

The California Health Collaborative EQUITY project is dedicated to increasing the options available to
help tobacco users in Butte County quit, especially those who have been underserved in the past. If you
or your organization is interested in training, resources or technical assistance to help people quit we
may be able to help. For more information contact Bruce Baldwin at 530-345-2483 ext. 206 or at
bbaldwin@healthcollaborative.org

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