Butt out

Smoking is a choice, quitting is an even better one.

With the upcoming smoking ban on the Johnson State College campus, cigarette smokers might want to consider a few methods to help quit smoking.

For JSC smokers, it will become increasingly difficult to be a smoker on campus, especially in the winter. Without the designated smoking areas, smokers will have to travel off campus. This will be very irritating if you crave cigarettes at night, early in the morning or when you are too busy to leave campus. Quitting will also of course save you money; as a college student that should be decent motivation.

Quitting can be a very hard feat for many because of the physical dependence to nicotine smokers develop. This can lead to very unpleasant withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, nausea, cramping, insomnia and difficulty concentrating. It’s important to remember to take it one day at a time, stay positive and seek help if you need it.

Quitting can be done in one attempt, but it is very common for people to relapse and have to try multiple time before successfully being done with smoking. This should not discourage you. If you are trying certain methods that are not working for you, try another method or, if necessary, multiple methods.

The most popular methods for quitting are called nicotine replacement therapies (NRT). NRT gives you nicotine without smoking tobacco and other harmful chemicals in cigarettes. These come in the form of gum, patches, sprays, lozenges and inhalers to help ease the pain of the withdrawal symptoms. Using NRT methods can double your chances of successfully quitting according to the American Cancer society. It’s rare to overdose on nicotine using NRT, but not impossible, so be careful to monitor your usage.

NRT is usually advised based off of how much you smoke. It’s more likely that you will benefit from NRT is you smoke more than ten cigarettes a day.

NRT treatments can be found at your local Rite Aid, Walgreens, Walmart and online as well.

Quitting can be done without the use of NRT as well. Some things smokers should do to help them quit smoking are staying busy, exercising, drinking lots of water, taking naps, chewing on some hard candy, keeping your hands busy, cleaning and picking up a new hobby.  You should also avoid and triggers or temptations. To do this you should get rid of your cigarettes, lighters, and ashtrays. Don’t turn to caffeine, just drink water or juice instead. Stay in non-smoking areas and befriend other non-smokers. Try to eat healthy and get plenty of sleep, lack of sleep will make you more vulnerable to cravings.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, there are many different kinds of supports accessible to you. According to the American Cancer Society only 4 to 7 percent of people can stop smoking without help from medications or support groups. These supports are good to seek prior to quitting and during the quitting process.

You can seek support online and on the telephone. By calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) you can get in touch with someone who will be able to offer counseling, tips for managing withdrawal symptoms, personalized plans for quitting, and possibly free medications.

You could also look at the website Smokefree.gov which provides different links to other resources and can put you in contact with someone on a live chat or use a instant messaging service to get advice. Smokefree.gov also provides text support if you prefer texting.

You could also look into the Freedom From Smoking program from the American Lung Association. This is a  online program with comprehensive steps that you start before officially quitting to get mentally ready to stop smoking.

There is also in person support systems. The American Lung association provides freedom from smoking clinics. This is a in person eighth session long program where you can cope with the struggles of quitting with other quitters.

Talking to your doctor about prescriptions to curb your nicotine cravings is also something that you could do if your still having trouble quitting. Some prescription drugs that might be prescribed are Wellbutrin and Chantix. These types of treatments can be very helpful but also can come with unwanted side effects.

To quit smoking follow these steps. Make a quit smoking plan and look into your options and resources. Distract yourself and change your habits and environments to avoid temptations. Seek support online, over the phone or in person. Try NRT methods or seek medical help from a doctor if you are still having trouble. Understand you’re not alone, take deep breaths and keep trying.

The smoking ban comes to NVU Johnson July 1, 2018. Get your butts in gear if you want to be smoke free by the time this smoking ban is enforced.