Dear cigarette/cigar/pipe smokers, smokeless-tobacco users and those who use vaping products, Nov. 19 is the day your life is going to change.
Nov. 19 is the Great American Smokeout, and Keller Army Community Hospital, Mologne Cadet Health Clinic, the Center for Personal Development and Substance Use Disorder Clinic Care (SUDCC) are ready to be an integral part of the process, of improving your health and wellness, by helping you quit smoking, quit using of smokeless tobacco and/or quit using vaping products.
Nearly 40 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, and tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the world. While cigarette smoking rates have dropped (from 42% in 1965 to 17% in 2014), cigar, pipe and hookah – other dangerous and addictive ways to smoke tobacco – are very much on the rise. Smoking kills people – there’s no "safe" way to smoke tobacco.
The U.S. Surgeon General has said, "Smoking cessation (stopping smoking) represents the single most important step that smokers can take to enhance the length and quality of their lives," and the benefits of quitting are almost instant.
Quitting smoking lowers your risk of lung cancer, other cancers, heart attack, stroke and chronic lung disease. After 20 minutes, your heart rate and blood pressure drop; after 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal; and between two weeks and three months, your circulation improves and your lung function increases. And as you continue to abstain from smoking, the benefits increase exponentially. Additionally, there are cosmetic benefits, such as your breath smells better, the bad smell in your clothes and hair reduces and eventually can be eliminated, your sense of smell and taste returns to normal, and your pocket will retain some of the money spent on tobacco products.
Smokeless tobacco is no less lethal than cigarettes for most people, and recent vaping use has led to death. The bottom line is using any form of tobacco causes serious health risks.
All forms of tobacco have chemicals that cause cancer. These products can cause cancer of the mouth, throat, pancreas, and esophagus. Oral and smokeless tobacco also causes many other health problems, such as gum disease, destruction of the bone sockets around the teeth and tooth loss.
The doctors, nurses and staff at KACH, Mologne and CPD understand the mental and physical part of tobacco/nicotine addiction, and are ready to assist you.
KACH’s primary care physicians are ready to assist you with a variety of medications designed to help you stop the use of nicotine products. If you are a KACH beneficiary, call and schedule an appointment today to receive more details from your provider.
Mologne and CPD doctors, nurses and staff are working hard to graduate ‘tobacco-free/addiction-free leaders of character.’ If you are a USMA cadet or USMAPS cadet candidate looking for smoking cessation assistance, you can make an appointment online through CIS or call Mologne (845-938-3003) or CPD front desk (845-938-3022).
The Keller Army Community Hospital’s Substance Use Disorder Clinic Care (SUDCC) is open to cadets, active duty service members and beneficiaries who are interested in seeking help independently. The SUDCC is located in building 656 and you can schedule an appointment by calling 845-938-7691.
Additionally, the West Point community, USMA cadets and USMAPS students can: (1) go to the Department of Defense site http://www.ucanquit2.org/, or (2) go to the New York State Smokers’ Quitline at http://www.nysmokefree.com/ or call 866-NY-QUITS.
KACH, Mologne, CPD and SUDCC understand quitting smoking or the use of smokeless tobacco or vaping, coping with smoking withdrawal and staying smoke-free can be tough, but here are five things you can do:
• Get Ready — set a quit date (start with today), change your environment, get rid of all tobacco products and don’t be around people who are using tobacco products.
• Get support and encouragement — a family member, fellow cadets/USMAPS students, etc.
• Learn new skills and behaviors — change the habits/behavior that led you to reach for a cigarette/cigar/smokeless tobacco.
• If you need medication, get it and use it correctly.
• Be prepared for relapse and/or difficult situations — most relapse occur in the first three months. You primary care provider is ready to assist you beyond the first or if you relapse.
The professional staffs of KACH, Mologne, CPD and SUDCC are ready to improve the health and wellness of the military member, the military community and all of our beneficiaries. Together, we can help you quit … and, possibly, get you to enjoy a smoke/tobacco-free lifestyle.