By Sally Wagoner, RN, CTTS, Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial
Thursday, November 15 is not just the beginning of deer hunting season here in Newaygo County. It is also the National “Great American Smoke Out” – a day that inspires people to quit tobacco and nicotine use.
On November 15 you can quit for the day so you can be comfortable in the deer blind without having to light up, vape, or chew. Or you can quit for good so you can focus on smoking your venison and not your lungs!
All you need is the right combination of nicotine replacement products, such as a nicotine patch plus nicotine gum or lozenge. You can buy these over the counter, but many times your health insurance with help pay for them. The nicotine patch gives you a slow dose of nicotine throughout the day which can help lessen your desire to smoke or chew. The gum or lozenge gives you a “quick dose” of nicotine for those pesky urges. Together they can take the place of smoking, chewing or vaping.
There are medications that can help a person quit too. Both are by prescription only which you will need to get from your medical provider. You need to start these medications 1 to 2 weeks before your last day of using tobacco or nicotine so it helps to plan ahead. With one of these medications you can also use the nicotine patch, gum or lozenge to get the most support to deal with urges and withdrawals.
There is also an inhaler that allows you to draw nicotine into your mouth like a cigarette. But this inhaler does not have over 4,000 chemicals and poisons that a burning cigarette has. The inhaler is not an e-cigarette because it does not have a battery and it does not heat up, so it will never blow up in your face. The inhaler can be used with the nicotine patch so you get enough nicotine throughout the day to decrease tobacco urges. This device is by prescription only so you will need to talk with your medical provider. Many insurances pay for the nicotine inhaler as well. Combined with using the nicotine patch, many people have been able to quit for good using this method.
Drop in to get tips and tools on how to quit at the following locations from November 9 – 19:
Hesperia: Hesperia Sport Shop, 65 Alpha Drive; Spectrum Health Family Medicine, 78 N. Division Street.
White Cloud: Family Health Care, 1035 E. Wilcox Avenue.
Fremont: Spectrum Health Family Medicine Clinics at 204 W. Main Street and 230 W. Oak Street.
Newaygo: Parsley’s Sport Shop, 70 State Road; Spectrum Health Family Medicine, 211 Pine Lake Drive.
Grant: Family Health Care, 11 N. Maple Street; Spectrum Health Family Medicine Clinic, 230 S. Maple Street.
If you have tried to quit in the past, or if you did quit and started back up, it is never too late to try again. If your spouse hunts and smokes, chews or vapes you can pick up information at the above businesses for your loved one.
Free tobacco and nicotine quit classes and coaching, as well as a weekly nicotine quit support groups, are available from Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial. For more information contact Sally Wagoner, RN, CTTS, 231.924.7589, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.