Great American Smokeout is the opposite of what some might deem to be a get together for friends, football, and brisket on the BBQ. The Great American Smokeout, starting in 1977 in San Francisco, is recognized on the third Thursday in November for people to stop their tobacco smoking habits.

Commercials for smoking tobacco were banned in 1970’s. And a few short years later, we have this annual Smokeout that has endured 40+ years.

Even though cigarette sales have declined significantly over the years, people are still struggling with their addiction to nicotine. Moreover, are teenagers have taken the lead charge in the trend of vaping which is just as harmful as smoking cigarettes or believing the other alternative – chewing tobacco – is slightly better; which it is not. Chewing tobacco, vaping and cigarettes are still very harmful and remain the leading cause in preventable diseases, disability, and death in the US.

The newest trend of vaping has its own set of effects that are deadly. This e-cigarette, designed to look like a flash/thumb drive is easily hidden from parents and teachers. One out of three people report serious lung issues of what doctors are calling EVALI – e-cigarette- or vaping-associated lung injury. Symptoms of Evali include but are not limited to – cough, shortness of breath, nausea, stomach pain and chest pain.

For those who decide to join the Great American Smokeout, here are some tips that may help in the process of quitting:

  • Give yourself a quit date – Setting a date can be exciting and give you something to look forward to. This 3rd Thursday, thousands of people will be quitting tobacco at the same time. Recovery can be more successful if accomplished as a team.
  • Tell friends and family – Set yourself up for success and tell them of your desire to quit. Getting family and friends on board to help and encourage can make this process easier.
  • This isn’t easy – accept this is a difficult process and take it in stride. Expect physical discomfort, mood swings, and withdrawal symptoms. To help combat this, drink lots of water, exercise or knowing who to contact for emotional support.
  • Remove tobacco products – remove all products from your household. Avoid going places for a few days while your body acclimates to being without nicotine. Seeing people smoke can trigger withdrawal symptoms.
  • Talk to a healthcare professional – take a moment and talk to your doctor, pharmacist or therapist. Healthcare professionals are not only there for your emotional support and overall well being but can offer suggestions and alternatives to aid in your nicotine free lifestyle change.

Inner Circle Billing Inc, wishes anyone who is quitting using this harmful substance, the best of luck.