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Dec 21

New Year’s Resolution to Quit Tobacco Use? You Are Not Alone!

New Year’s resolutions are common this time of year. Some are easily broken; others are sincerely made, but hard to keep. The decision to eliminate tobacco from your life is a commitment that takes self-control and support. Area Tobacco Prevention Coordinator, Brandy Powers (Page County Public Health, Clarinda, Iowa, 712-850-1211) , reminds Iowa residents who have decided to quit tobacco use this year that help and support are available.

In Iowa, 16 percent of adults use some form of tobacco. Tobacco use is the leading cause of death for Iowans, taking the lives of more than 4,400 adults each year. The estimated annual Iowa health care costs directly associated with tobacco use now total $1 billion. Globally, 6 million people die each year due to tobacco-related causes.

The benefits of stopping the use of tobacco are almost immediate. According to the American Cancer Society, within 20 minutes, your heart rate and blood pressure drop. Within 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. Within two to three months, your circulation improves and your lung function increases. After one year of living tobacco free, the excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a continuing smoker’s.

Even so, nicotine is the most addictive substance known to man and breaking that addiction can be challenging. On average, it takes 3-5 serious quit attempts before individuals are successful at quitting. Most insurance companies will pay for nicotine replacement medication such as Chantix or a nicotine inhaler.

“It’s important to remember to take quitting one day at a time and celebrate every day you are tobacco-free,” stated Powers. “Treat your slips as an ‘oops’ and not a relapse.”

The state-wide resource, Quitline Iowa, pairs tobacco users with a trained Quit Coach® to help individuals develop a personalized quit plan and offer suggestions on methods to help stay tobacco-free. A Quit Coach® also helps individuals who are wanting to quit electronic cigarettes as well, as they are considered by state law to be a tobacco product.

Iowans can take advantage of Quitline Iowa resources by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), or visiting to enroll. Registration specialists and Quit Coaches® are available 24 hours a day with no language barriers.