Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, marks the American Cancer Society’s 43rd annual Great American Smokeout. The Great American Smokeout is an annual event that encourages smokers to make a plan to quit smoking.
North Country communities are experiencing a dramatic shift in policies that affect tobacco users. Earlier this year, Essex County passed legislation the increases the age for purchasing tobacco product from 18 to 21. Similar legislation is being considered in other parts of northern New York. Meanwhile, local federally funded housing authorities are adapting to a new mandate that bans the use of tobacco on premises — this the Plattsburgh Housing Authority and the Harrietstown Housing Authority. North Country Community College recently announced that it will ban tobacco use at all three campuses by 2020, and Behavioural Health Services North has banned tobacco use on its premises.
These policy changes help improve the overall health of our communities, but they also make it more difficult for tobacco users to find places to smoke or use other nicotine products. Events like the Great American Smokeout help to remind tobacco users of the steps that can be taken to increase the likelihood of quitting successfully.
It takes the average tobacco user seven sincere attempts at quitting before they’re successful. With each attempt, a tobacco user learns something new about what it takes to quit successfully. The message is simple: Don’t give up on trying. Just because you weren’t successful the first, second or even third time, it doesn’t mean the next try won’t be. The Great American Smokeout is the perfect time to give it another shot.
People who quit with the support of medication and/or cessation counseling are twice as likely to be successful. That’s why New York state has placed so much emphasis on the Health Systems for a Tobacco Free NY program. It targets medical and mental health provider systems to support development of evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment policies, establishment of office systems of care that make provision of evidence-based treatment routine, and integration of tobacco treatment measures into system level improvement plans.
Seventy percent of current smokers want to quit smoking.
The North Country Healthy Heart Network has been working to promote tobacco cessation in the North Country since 2001. Through a subcontract with Glens Falls Hospital, the Heart Network administers a Health Systems for a Tobacco Free NY grant that focuses on increasing provider identification and treatment of nicotine addiction in both medical and behavioral health settings in Clinton, Essex, Franklin and Hamilton counties.
Here in the North Country, we’re incredibly fortunate to have a network of tobacco treatment specialists that work in collaboration with healthcare providers to help people quit. We have an extensive network of providers who employ tobacco treatment specialists. The Heart Network has developed this easy to use mapping tool to help you find a provider close to you: http://bit.ly/CessationMap
Tobacco products include vaping and all other nicotine delivery systems. Tobacco companies are working hard to hook the next generation by promoting these delivery systems. The dose of nicotine is often much higher than what is delivered by smoking a cigarette, increasing the likelihood of addiction.
For more resources and information on tobacco cessation in the North Country, we encourage you to keep exploring this website, or visit www.healthyadk.org.
To learn more about the Great American Smokeout, visit https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/great-american-smokeout.html