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‘It Is Time To Talk To Your Doctor About Quitting Smoking’

OSWEGO, NY – Your doctor can help you quit smoking for good. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention your doctor’s advice and assistance more than double the odds that you will quit successfully, so make an appointment and ask for help to start the New Year tobacco-free.

According to an American Cancer Society estimate, 30 percent of cancers could be avoided if people stopped using tobacco.

Tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable disease and death in New York State, taking more than 28,000 lives every year and afflicting nearly 600,000 New Yorkers with serious disease directly attributable to their smoking.

Smokers are also at greater risk for diseases that affect the heart and blood vessels.

Smoking damages blood vessels and can make them thicken and grow narrower, which makes your heart beat faster and your blood pressure go up leading to hypertension.

Tobacco users with high blood pressure that quit using tobacco will be able to control the disease, and are less likely to experience complications such as stroke.

Cynthia Carry, director of HealthLink and Smoking Cessation Programs at Upstate Medical University, explained the benefits of quitting.

“Only 20 minutes after your last cigarette your blood pressure, pulse rate and body temperature all return to normal. Eight hours after quitting, carbon monoxide levels drop and your blood oxygen level increases to normal. 24 hours after quitting your chance of having a heart attack decreases. And 48 hours after quitting your nerve endings start to regrow, and you ability to taste and smell greatly improves…and all this happens within two days of quitting,” she said.

The use of approved stop smoking medications at least doubles a tobacco user’s chances of successfully quitting and many of the medications including the patch, gum and lozenges are covered by Medicaid plans.

A doctor can determine and prescribe the medications most likely to help their patient make a successful quit attempt.

Tobacco Free Network of CNY encourages tobacco users to think beyond a New Year’s resolution because quitting smoking takes a lot of work and resolve,” said Jacqueline Thorpe, Tobacco Free community specialist. “Make a plan, get support from your doctor, and keep trying until you succeed.”

Angie, a quitline participant, said, “I’ve been smoking since I was 11 and I just turned 64. I would stop and start but this time was it. I had a mild stroke and my doctors would tell me to stop but I didn’t. Even my grandchildren would tell me to quit because I couldn’t breathe.

I called the Quitline because I saw it on TV and I finally knew I was ready. I wasn’t sure how they could help me, but they did. I got the patches right away. The coaches were all fantastic and very helpful. I liked how they expressed everything and told me what to expect when I quit and what would happen if I kept smoking. I learned using the patch is not enough and that changing my behavior is very important. The coaches helped me with my own plan and followed up by calling me to see how I was doing. They really care about me.”

For a free personalized quit plan, talk to your doctor and for more support, contact the New York State Smokers’ Quitline at 1-866-NY-QUITS or www.nysmokefree.com

The Quitline can offer a variety of resources and support including phone coaching, automatic quit messages to your mobile, landline or email and a free starter kit of nicotine patches for eligible smokers.

About The New York State Smokers’ Quitline

The New York State Smokers’ Quitline (1-866-NY-QUITS), based at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, provides free quit coaching and nicotine patches to New York residents who want to stop smoking or using tobacco. Services available through the Quitline include a free nicotine patch starter kit; quit coaching, self-help materials, motivational messages and daily tips.

The Quitline can be reached at 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. until 9 p.m., and Friday through Sunday, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. (taped messages of support available in off-hours).

An online smoke-free community is available 24/7 at http://www.nysmokefree.org, and additional tips and resources can be found at http://www.facebook.com/NYQuits and https://twitter.com/nysmokefree.