The American Cancer Society has interesting research on tobacco prevention strategies to reduce the risk of many cancers. According to recent studies, the ACS estimates that in 2015 approximately 171,000 cancer deaths were caused by tobacco smoking. Tobacco use increases the risk of certain cancers including lung, mouth, throat, stomach, colorectal, liver, pancreas, kidney, bladder, cervix, ovary and myeloid leukemia. Exposure to secondhand smoke also increases the risk of lung cancer in adults. There is no safe amount of tobacco use or exposure.
Tobacco-related health care costs accounted for $176 billion in expenditures in the US in 2012. State and federal agencies have long recognized the importance of prevention. Some of the most effective steps have included:
- Covering Cessation Programs via Insurance/Medicare
- Medicare will cover 2 cessation attempts per year. Each attempt may include a maximum of four intermediate or intensive sessions, with the total annual benefit covering up to 8 sessions in a 12 month period. The practitioner and patient have flexibility to choose between intermediate or intensive cessation strategies for each attempt.
- Adding Excise Taxes to the Increase Cost of Tobacco Products
- Regulating Access
Prevention programs are working. The numbers are down. According to the 2013 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), an estimated 17.8% of adults smoked cigarettes, compared to 23.5% in 1999.
Quitting is a process, not an event. It takes most smokers many quit attempts before they are smoke-free for life. So, if you have tried to quit in the past, don’t give up. Quitting is hard. Nicotine from smoking is more addictive than heroin and cocaine. But, when you use more than one type of support, e.g. counselling and medication, you are more likely to stay smoke-free.
The US Surgeon General has said that quitting smoking “…represents the single most important step that smokers can take to enhance the length and quality of their lives.”
And studies show that a support system can DOUBLE your chance of success.
Check out these free programs below and get quitting today!
National NCI Quitline
The National Cancer Institute’s Smoking Quitline offers free telephone counseling by trained Smoking cessation counselors. Services are offered in both English and Spanish. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, EST.
Each state offers a free quit line. To locate yours, call (877) 784–8669.
For free apps to help you keep track of your efforts and provide the additional support to help you make quitting stick, see this article Want to Stop Smoking? Double Your Chance of Success with These Free Resources!