No smoking no vaping neon sign

 In the past have you tried to quit smoking, but slipped up? You aren’t alone. Quitting is hard work! The week of November 18-22, The American Cancer Society, The Nebraska Cancer Coalition (NC2), The Nebraska Tobacco Quitline and more than 30 other organizations across the state are teaming up for Cessation Awareness Week.

Cessation Awareness Week is an entire week focused on increasing Nebraskans’ awareness about the many resources available to help tobacco users successfully quit tobacco for good.  In Nebraska, more than half of adult cigarette smokers report having made a quit attempt in the past year

This collaborative group of not-for-profit, health, advocacy, government and pharmaceutical leaders will join efforts to protect more Nebraskans from secondhand smoke and reducing tobacco use through cessation efforts available to those who want to break the habit.  

“It’s never too late to quit using tobacco,” Rudy P. Lackner, MD, Board Certified Thoracic and Cardiac Surgeon with Nebraska Medicine and NC2 Advisory Board Member, said. “You don’t need to quit in one day, you need to pick one day to start the process. Within minutes of smoking your last cigarette, your body begins to recover.”

It is commonly known that tobacco use can lead to nicotine dependence and serious health problems. During Cessation Week, the focus is on the many resources that exist to help Nebraskans beat the addiction.

In Nebraska, 15.4 percent of adults smoke, according to Department of Health and Human Services statistics, and nearly 700 kids under the age of 18 become new smokers each year. The financial impact is significant, too, because businesses lose and estimated $605 million dollars in productivity due to smoking.  Related health care costs total an estimated $795 million.

Quitting is hard for many people who smoke. It takes commitment and starts with a plan. It often takes more than one quit attempt and requires varied levels of support. Often, the younger one is when they start to smoke, the more intense the addiction.  Smokers are strongly advised to use proven cessation methods, prescription medications and counseling, or a combination of all three, to quit smoking. It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor or pharmacist to get their advice.

“By using any of cessation tools available, tobacco-users receive a team of support,” Nick Faustman, Government Relations Director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, said, “Necessary tools are available by contacting healthcare providers and calling available quit lines, including the American Cancer Society.

There are several events during Tobacco Cessation week that can help individuals get the process started to quit tobacco.  

For a list of partners and schedule of events visit: https://necancer.org/page-1851670

EVENT SCHEDULE as of 11/15/19

Monday, November 18:

• Free two-week supply of over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) available while supplies last through the Nebraska Tobacco Quitline: 1-800-Quit-Now (784-8669) or 1-855-Dejelo-Ya (335-3569).  To qualify, the caller must be a Nebraska resident over the age of 18 who is ready to quit tobacco, register with the quit line and complete one coaching session. Callers will be screened for medical eligibility to receive the free NRT. This will be available at all events during the week.

• What is Vaping? presentation @ Creighton University Highlander in Omaha or Facebook Live-Stream - (6p-7p)

Tuesday, November 19:

• Community Conversations: Vaping - A New Public Health Threat @ Community Health Endowment Center in Lincoln (2p-3:30p)

• Nebraska Tobacco Quitline: An Overview for Healthcare Providers - Webinar (1p-2p)

• Tobacco Cessation Counseling and Medications: An Overview of Medicare, Medicaid, and Private Insurance Coverage - Webinar (1p-2p)

Wednesday, November 20:

• Freedom From Smoking® Facilitator Training @ B.W. Community Center in Omaha

Thursday, November 21:

• American Smoke Out (GASO) – Promoted all day, statewide.

• Community Conversation: Vaping, JUULing, & Our Youth @ CHI Health Midlands in Papillion (6p)

Friday, November, 22:

• MOTAC (Metro Omaha Tobacco Action Coalition) Annual Luncheon in Omaha (12p-1:30p) Limited seating available

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