“Quitting Smoking is easy – I do it all the time!”

Stop SmokingUnfortunately it’s true. People try to give up smoking regularly, the problem is that not many succeed for good. It’s an addiction, and tough to give up permanently, or as I like to say, “for life”. If you’re a smoker looking for inspiration and help quitting, why not join The Great American Smokeout on November 21st?

As you’re getting an education at Carrington College California, you’re hopefully well on your way to a career in health care. So here’s something else for you to consider when you’re trying to quit… As a health care professional, shouldn’t you be trying to set a good example?

Smoking is an epidemic in our country. According to a 2011 study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC):

  • An estimated 43.8 million people, that’s 19.0% of all adults in the U.S., smoke cigarettes.*
  • Cigarette smoking is more common among men (21.6%) than women (16.5%).*
  • Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., accounting for more than 440,000 deaths, or one of every five, in the U.S. each year.*

Our job is not to nag you into quitting; you already know the health risks, and you may be one of the 69% of smokers who say they want to quit.* But it is our job to help you become a well-rounded health care professional, someone capable of giving the best possible advice to your patients. The problem is, in a CDC survey, there is evidence that health workers’ own habits affect the advice they give to patients.** And that is not healthy.

The Great American Smokeout is an annual event, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, held every year on the Thursday before Thanksgiving. It challenges smokers to stop using tobacco products for at least a day, and helps make them aware of the various tools out there to help them quit for good.

The idea behind it is simple: You quit smoking for the 24 hours of the Smokeout. You won’t be alone; you can swap advice, jokes and moans with the other ‘quitters’ and the non-smokers who will be cheering you on. Of course, for many the first day is the hardest, so the hope is that one day becomes two days, then a week, then a month, then a lifetime.

So why not make a career pledge to be the best [insert your chosen profession here] you can be. If you’re a smoker, and stats suggest that 19% of our students will be, then start making your plan to stop on November 21st.

You’ve got a couple of weeks to do your own research; to explore the best way for you to quit. Why not round up some classmates, Carrington faculty and staff and make it a team effort on your campus?  It’s always easier to do these things in a group – getting together with other like-minded souls who you can lean on for moral support. If just one of you can quit for good, then it will have been a worthwhile exercise.

*Source: CDC Tobacco Fact Sheet –  http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fast_facts/index.htm#use

** Source: CDC Health Care Workers Survey  http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1483956