The following was submitted by Billie Goldstein BSN, RN, BC;Tobacco Dependence Treatment Counselor at Phoenixville Hospital
For over three decades, the American Cancer Society has been asking cigarette smokers to give quitting a try on the third Thursday in November. November 15, 2012 marks the 37th Great American Smokeout (GASO).
For those who are not addicted to tobacco products, doing without cigarettes, cigars, pipes or smokeless tobacco for one day may not seem like a difficult task. However, for people using tobacco, the thought of quitting, even for several hours, may be a scary proposition. The Great American Smokeout is a day devoted to providing resources to support smokers willing to make quit attempts.
Public health experts report that 70% of smokers want to quit and approximately 44% report that they try to quit each year. Why, then, are 44 million Americans still smoking? The Surgeon General reports that “cigarettes are designed for addiction.” Most smokers use tobacco regularly because they are addicted to nicotine. Tobacco/nicotine dependence, like other chronic diseases, has periods of relapse and remission. The wish to stop is frequently overruled by the desire to satisfy the addiction.
Phoenixville Hospital remains committed to helping smokers quit. Strong evidence suggests that tobacco users who utilize behavioral counseling, pharmacotherapy and support will have an increased chance of success compared to those who do not have access to such treatments. Phoenixville Hospital offers evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment programs for anyone who wants to quit. The programs are offered FREE to all participants. Phoenixville Hospital’s free tobacco dependence treatment services are supported by the Health Promotion Council and are funded through a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
If you or someone you know uses tobacco products, drop by Phoenixville Hospital or the Phoenixville Public Library in November to pick up resources for quitting. Quit Kits will be available in the north tower lobby of the hospital on November 14th and 15th and the library on November 15th. Remember – the Great American Smokeout is a time to “try on the no tobacco hat.” If you are unable to reach the resources at the hospital or the library, please call Pennsylvania’s Free Quitline 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
Take the Great American Smokeout challenge. The benefits of quitting are enormous!
For more information about free smoking cessation programs at Phoenixville Hospital, please call 610-983-1021.
 Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence, Clinical Practice Guideline. Page 15, 2010. United States Department of Health and Human Services.