ILLINOIS TOBACCO FREE COMMUNITIES GRANT
Tobacco Education and Cessation Programs in Hamilton County are brought to you through the Illinois Tobacco Free Communities Grant.
Smoking Fast Facts
- At least 4.5 million adolescents are current smokers.
- People who begin smoking at an early age are more likely to develop severe levels of nicotine addiction than those who start at a later age.
- Tobacco use primarily begins in early adolescence, typically by age 16; almost all first use occurs before the time of high school graduation. Nicotine is an addictive drug, which when inhaled in cigarette smoke reaches the brain faster than drugs that enter the body intravenously. Smokers become not only physically addicted to nicotine; they also link smoking with many social activities, making smoking a difficult habit to break.
- Approximately 22.3 million American women are smokers. Current female smokers aged 35 years old or older are 12 times more likely to die prematurely from lung cancer than nonsmoking females. More American women die annually from lung cancer than any other type of cancer.
- Tobacco advertising plays an important role in encouraging young people to begin a lifelong addiction to smoking before they are old enough to fully understand its long-term health risk.
- It is estimated that 4.5 million U.S. teenagers are cigarette smokers; 22.4 percent of high school seniors smoke on a daily basis, and approximately 90 percent of smokers begin smoking before the age of 21.
- Employers have a legal right to restrict smoking in the workplace, or implement a totally smoke-free workplace policy.
A 5-Day Plan to Get Ready
The first step to quitting tobacco is to decide to quit.
Quit Day minus 5
List all of your reasons for quitting and tell your friends and family about your plan. Stop buying cartons of cigarettes or tobacco.
Quit Day minus 4
Pay attention to when and why you smoke or use tobacco. Think of new ways to relax or things to hold in your hand instead of a cigarette. Think of habits or routines you may want to change. Make a list to use when you quit.
Quit Day minus 3
Make a list of the things you could do with the extra money you will save by not buying tobacco. Think of who to reach out to when you need help, like a tobacco support group.
Quit Day minus 2
Purchase over-the-counter nicotine replacement products or contact your doctor for prescription products. Financial assistance for nicotine replacement products is available at the health department.
Quit Day minus 1
Think of a reward you will get yourself after you quit. Make an appointment with your dentist to have your teeth cleaned. At the end of the day, throw away all cigarettes and/or tobacco. Put away lighters, matches, and ashtrays.
Keep very busy. Change your routine when possible, and do things out of the ordinary that don’t remind you of tobacco. Remind family, friends, and co-workers that this is your quit day, and ask them to help and support you. Avoid alcohol. Buy yourself a treat, or do something to celebrate.
When Cravings Hit, Remember the 4 D’s:
1. Delay – Cravings will go away after about 10-15 minutes.
2. Drink Water – Water will help clean chemicals out of your body.
3. Do Something – Keep busy so you don’t think about tobacco.
4. Deep Breathing – Take deep breaths in and out to relax.
Mark Elliott, BA/MBA
Public Health Educator/Food Safety Coordinator