Keep a distance from tobacco during GASO.
Give yourself the chance to quit for good.
Lock it up. Throw it away. Give it to a friend. Do whatever it takes. Distance yourself from tobacco and its harmful effects for just 24 hours during this year’s Great American Smokeout (GASO) on 15 November. GASO is a perfect time to quit because you won’t be doing it alone–others will be quitting along with you.
Quitting is never easy. But don’t you deserve to give yourself the chance to quit? Even after one day, you’ll start to feel better. Within 20 minutes, blood pressure and pulse rate drop to normal levels, and within 8 hours carbon monoxide and oxygen levels return to normal. If you can stay tobacco-free for a few months, coughing and shortness of breath will decrease as your lungs continue to repair the damage caused by smoking.
Many of your peers have succeeded in quitting tobacco, and you can, too. In fact, most military personnel do not smoke; for every three people in the military who smoke, seven others do not. In 2008, the smoking rate among the military was 32 percent.1 And, nearly 40 percent of military smokers surveyed reported the intent to quit in the next six months.2
Once you decide to quit, here’s what you can do to prepare.
Write down your reasons to quit. The number-one reason to quit is for you. You’ll be healthier and feel great after you quit. The people around you will be proud, and so will you. Plus, you’ll save a lot of cash! See our savings calculator to find out how much money you can save.
Pick a date. If you pick GASO as your quit date, your military installation may be holding events and activities to help you get through the day tobacco-free. If GASO isn’t the right day for you, then find another date. Create a quit blog and get encouragement from others just like you.
Make a plan. Check out Train2Quit on this website to put together a solid plan to beat the odds and double your chances of successful quitting. Talk with your physician and determine if nicotine replacement therapy (e.g., gum, nicotine, patches) is right for you.
Cut back your usage. Try to cut down to half your usual number of cigarettes during the week before your quit date. Start cutting back when and where you smoke and go as long as you can before giving in to your cravings. Play some fun games like Texas Hold ’em to keep your mind off tobacco.
Get a support system. Seek out family and friends to help you get through this important day. Look for others who might want to quit with you, and support each other. Connect with Live Chat, available 24/7, for encouragement from a trained quit coach. TRICARE® beneficiaries who are not eligible for Medicare can call a regional quitline for support.
So, lose the excuse! Whether you tell yourself that you smoke to stay alert, calm stress, avoid weight gain, or deal with boredom, know that there are other, more productive ways to handle the challenges of everyday life. And many ideas are right here on this website! So, check out all of these helpful smoking cessation tools and learn how to distance yourself from tobacco. Make GASO your opportunity to quit tobacco for good!
1 Institute of Medicine. (2009). Combating tobacco use in military and veteran populations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
2 Bray, R. M., Pemberton, M. R., Hourani, L. L., Witt, M., Rae Olmsted, K. L., Brown, J. M., Weimer, B. J., Lane, M. E., Marsden, M. E., Scheffler, S. A., Vandermaas-Peeler, R., Aspinwall, K. R., Anderson, E. M., Spagnola, K., Close, K. L., Gratton, J. L., Calvin, S. L., & Bradshaw, M. R. (2009). 2008 Department of Defense survey of health related behaviors among active duty military personnel. Report prepared for TRICARE Management Activity, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) and U.S. Coast Guard. Available online at http://www.tricare.mil/2008HealthBehaviors.pdf