Louisiana

Start the Lenten Season Smoke-Free

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NEW ORLEANS – After the revelry of non-stop Mardi Gras celebrations, many people, regardless of their faith, tend to want to give up something for Lent, so they can strive to be the best person they can be. Some people give up alcohol, some give up red meat, some give up sugar, some give up chocolate, and others take the 40 days of the Lenten season to try to end their nicotine addiction.

According to the CDC, it takes about 8-11 quit attempts before a person finally quits. The 40 days of Lent could be an ideal first step towards quitting for those 20-40-year cigarette smokers who believe that if they “switch” to e-cigarettes they’ve somehow quit, and for people wanting to finally quit traditional cigarettes for good.

“While quitting cold turkey (which many people tend to do for Lent) is not always the best way to quit, at least it is a start,” said Mike Rogers, CEO of the Smoking Cessation Trust Management Services. “Studies have shown that people tend to better succeed with a combination of nicotine replacement therapy, such as gums, lozenges, nasal sprays and patches, and group cessation counseling or telephone quit-line coaching. Unfortunately, 99% of those who try quitting cold turkey are smoking again in one week.”

The Smoking Cessation Trust offers free cessation products and services for eligible Louisianans who smoked a cigarette by Sept. 1, 1988 through a wide variety of statewide providers. For all smokers, here are some helpful tips that might help with quitting cigarettes:

o    Distract yourself with a good deed – be helpful to a friend or family member to take your mind off cigarettes

o    Stay busy – keep your mouth busy (chew gum or hard candy or drink water); go for a walk; take slow, deep breaths to relax yourself

o    Remind yourself why you’re quitting – better health; more money in your pocket; for family and friends

o    Additional quit tips can be found here at the CDC website.

Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States, and in Louisiana, the Smoking Cessation Trust strives to reach as many eligible smokers as possible and provide them with the free products and services they need to successfully quit.

“We hope all smokers, regardless of their beliefs, will take this opportunity to start on the path to giving up all tobacco products,” added Rogers.

For more information or to register for the Trust, visit: Smoking Cessation Trust at www.smokefreela.org; Local: 504-529-5665 or Toll Free at: 855-259-6346.