Kicking the Habit
By Debbie Lantco
You’ve just eaten a wonderful steak dinner. What’s next? If you’re a smoker, the end of a good meal may trigger a cigarette craving. If you’re trying to quit, one of the keys is knowing your triggers and how to work around them.
Quitting smoking is best for your overall good health. Smoking harms nearly every organ in your body, and can lead to life-threatening or chronic conditions including heart attack, stroke, lung cancer, COPD and more.
If you smoke, I encourage you to make a plan to quit — and take an important step toward a healthier life.
Everyone knows the benefits of quitting tobacco — it saves money and can prevent a number of chronic conditions. But breaking the cycle of tobacco addiction still can be a struggle. Nicotine is a drug that is as addictive as heroin or cocaine. Over time, a person becomes physically dependent on and emotionally addicted to nicotine.
Helpful resources exist for both the emotional and physical aspects of nicotine addiction. The following resources are available:
- Your primary care practitioner can recommend programs, nicotine replacement therapy or prescription medications.
- The South Dakota QuitLine, 1-866-SD-QUITS (1-866-737-8487) offers free coaching and free cessation medication.
- Avera Corporate Health Services offers smoking cessation support groups and health coaching. To learn more, call 605-322-3875.
Schedule an appointment with your primary care provider to talk about your journey toward living smoke free.