Quitting smoking is a great way to start the New Year, and the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services is reminding smokers that kicking the habit immediately improves health and saves money.
While a pack-a-day smoker can spend around $2,500 a year on cigarettes, the American Cancer Society points out that each pack results in $35 in health costs to the smoker, or just under $13,000 a year. On April 1, cigarettes are slated to become even more expensive when Proposition 56’s $2-per-pack tax increase goes into effect.
Stopping nicotine dependence is a process that often requires repeated attempts. It’s not easy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more people are addicted to nicotine than to any other drug and research suggests that it may be as addictive as heroin or cocaine. The CDC estimates that 70 percent of smokers want to quit. Smokers who have already tried a New Year’s resolution to quit should be reminded that it’s OK to fail and give it another shot.
Smoking remains the number one cause of preventable death in the U.S., killing about 480,000 Americans a year, reports the CDC.
Smokers can find group and nicotine-replacement therapies from United Indian Health Services at 707-825-5000 or Open Door Community Health Centers at 707-441-1624. These resources are open to the public. The California Smoker’s Helpline provides free telephone counseling at 1-800-NO-BUTTS. Additionally, smokers should talk to their doctors to decide if medication is a good option. E-cigarettes are not tested or recommended to help people quit.
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