Ready to Quit Smoking? Great! Here’s How.

Greta Brand

In March 2015, Lara Rutherford-Morrison wrote a post for Bustle about how it’s no longer cool to smoke. Her piece, called The Only 8 Kinds of People Who Still Think Cigarettes Are Cool, Because The Rest Of Us Honestly Think Smoking Is Dumb, struck home for me.

When I grew up we all smoked cigarettes, and we smoked all the time, no matter where we were. We smoked at home, at work, on the bus, in the grocery store, in our cars, on airplanes, at parties, and even in movie theaters. It was normal, and cool, to smoke.

Things have really, really changed. The studies have shown us just what tobacco can do to a body. Have you looked at any news lately?  Tobacco causes heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, lung diseases, and a whole host of cancers. Want more bad news about what smoking can do, take a look at any of the fact sheets from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control).

And what about all those ‘cool’ friends who smoked? They don’t look so cool anymore. Some have had cancers; others have heart disease, problems with their blood pressure, and sadly, some are no longer around. And let’s not forget the oxygen.  Once you start using oxygen, you realize that the tank or ‘portable oxygen system’ (think back-packs or cartridges) are not good looking extras for your wardrobe.

When my husband and I decided to quit, we did it together. That was great, since it would have been too tough if only one of us tried to quit.  And our doctors say that we not only added years to our lives, but life to our years by quitting. Whew!

When we decided to quit, there was not much help around.  Thank goodness that is no longer true.  Here in Harford County, if you want to quit, you can attend a free class (where you are likely to get free nicotine patches, lozenges, or gum), and meet others who are in the same boat.  The Kaufman Cancer Center in Be Air has free classes, and the Harford County Health Department has programs in Aberdeen and Edgewood.

If you’d like to learn more or sign up for a free class at the Kaufman Cancer Center, call either 410-612-1781 OR 443-643-3350.

For the Aberdeen or Edgewood programs, call Linda Pegram at 410-612-1781; or check out this link.

Not able to attend a program? You still have options!

Call toll free in Maryland to get the help you need: 1-800-QUIT-NOW.   Ask for a counselor, you will be able to get free supplies and personal help. Just be sure you’re calling from a Maryland phone number.

Want to try quitting on your own?  Try one of these tips from former smokers.

Since I was a smoker, it makes no sense for me to judge others who want to keep on doing so. I get it. But it is easier to quit with help. I want to cheer on ANYONE who is trying to quit! It’s hard, but you know what? It’s worth it.