By Troy King
RN, Nationally Certified Tobacco Specialist
Big life changes often require a small first step — for smokers looking to quit, the Great American Smokeout, held this year on Nov. 17, could be just that.
Quitting smoking is hard. As a former smoker myself, I know that it takes time, persistence, planning and — perhaps most importantly — support. For this year’s Great American Smokeout, I encourage those of you trying to kick the habit to reach out to your healthcare providers and ask for help.
There are many strategies and resources available to help folks quit smoking — behavioral changes, nicotine replacement products available from places such as 1-866-NY-QUITS, and medication. But knowing how to find these resources and how to use them effectively can be difficult. In recent years, evidence has increasingly shown that simple conversations with healthcare providers can have lasting effects — in fact, quit rates rise exponentially the more a person leans on their doctor for help.
Here in our region, North Country Nicotine Consultants is supporting healthcare providers in our communities by supplying resources and consultation services to increase the tools smokers have at their disposal to quit. Administered by The Heart Network and Glens Falls Hospital, this collaboration is working with health care systems like CVPH Medical Center to support treatment for smokers.
So as millions of smokers across the country prepare to take that first step on Nov. 17, remember that you don’t have to do it alone. The North Country has never had so many resources and organizations standing by to help you quit — for good. To learn more about North Country Nicotine Consultants and tobacco treatment options in your community, contact my colleague Arriana Patraw at The Heart Network: email@example.com.