The Health District promotes its cessation resources in support of the Great American Smokeout
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 14, 2019
LAS VEGAS – Seven out of 10 smokers say they want to quit. Thursday, Nov. 21, is the 42nd Great American Smokeout, and the Southern Nevada Health District has smoking cessation resources and tools, as well as information about alternative tobacco products, smoke-free living and smoke-free meeting spaces on its GetHealthyClarkCounty.org website to support those taking that first, second, or multiple attempt to quit. It’s an opportunity to commit to leading a healthier life by kicking the habit for one day with the hope that it can lead to a permanent change.
“Quitting tobacco products is one of the best things you can do for your health. According to the American Cancer Society, smoking still causes 480,000 deaths in the United States every year and more than 16 million Americans are living with a smoking-related illness,” said Dr. Fermin Leguen, Acting Chief Health Officer for the Southern Nevada Health District. “We encourage participation in the Great American Smokeout and we see it as an opportunity for people to make a permanent lifestyle change to impact their health.”
State residents can contact the Nevada Tobacco Quitline 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) from a Nevada area code to access a free, phone-based service for anyone age 13 or older. The Quitline is also available in Spanish at 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569). Callers will speak with a ‘coach’ who can offer quitting assistance in any language. In addition to assisting callers who are trying to quit using tobacco products, the Quitline is also available to assist individuals who are seeking help to quit using e-cigarette or vaping products. The Quitline is available Monday – Sunday, 4 a.m. – 10 p.m. (PT). Through the Quitline program, people may be eligible to receive a free supply of nicotine replacement patches, gum, or lozenges. Coaches will determine eligibility to receive the free therapy. In addition, Quitline coaches can provide information about dealing with stress and fighting cravings, as well as coping with weight gain and other issues that occur when people attempt to quit smoking.
Former smokers reap health benefits almost immediately. Just 20 minutes after putting out a final cigarette, the heart rate drops to a normal level. In three months, the risk of a heart attack drops; in one year, the added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s; in five to 15 years, the risk of a stroke is reduced to that of a nonsmoker’s; and 15 years after quitting, the risk of dying from lung cancer or bladder cancer is reduced to half of a smoker’s risk, and the risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a nonsmoker’s.
E-cigarettes and vaping products have not been approved by the FDA as smoking cessation products. For anyone who is seeking ways to quit using tobacco, the CDC and FDA recommend using approved sources and consider using FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapies.
The most effective way to quit smoking is to make a plan and get assistance to develop a strategy. Quitting tips include identifying triggers and habits, such as an ‘after dinner’ cigarette, driving, or consuming alcohol or coffee. The American Cancer Society offers several tips to assist:
- Spend time in places where smoking is prohibited, especially the first few days after quitting.
- Drink large quantities of water and fruit juice.
- Avoid alcohol, coffee, and other beverages associated with smoking.
- Eat several small meals to maintain blood sugar levels, avoid sugary or spicy foods that trigger a desire for cigarettes.
- Take deep rhythmic breaths to relax.
- Join a support group.
Additional information is available on the American Cancer Society’s Stay Away from Tobacco webpage.
The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at www.SNHD.info.