It’s Never Too Late to Chuck Your Pack in the Trash


Peggy Messick, RN, BSN, OCN, Disease Prevention Specialist

Peggy Messick, RN, BSN, OCN, Disease Prevention Specialist

It can be one of the hardest things to do: quit smoking. But medical experts say it can also be one of the best things you can do for your health. One in every five deaths in the United States is smoking-related according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In fact, the CDC points out about 10 million people in the United States have died from causes attributed to smoking (heart disease, emphysema, and other respiratory diseases) since the first Surgeon General’s report on smoking and health in 1964.

“While a recent government study found that 70% of smokers would like to quit, it can be very difficult especially if you go it alone,” says Peggy Messick, CVMC RN, BSN, OCN. “Quit lines have been found to be helpful to assist people with smoking cessation. In North Carolina, 1-

800-QUIT-NOW provides free coaching services for residents who desire to stop smoking or dipping. Available for English and Spanish speaking individuals, the service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

CigaretteThere are also a number of physcian-approved apps now available for smart phone users that let you personalize your approach to quit smoking. You can choose to quit “cold turkey” or reduce nicotine use with a step-down approach. Features include analyzing your nicotine consumption, tracking cravings and making meaningful resolutions.

Physicians are also important partners in smoking cessation efforts. Smokers are encouraged to consult with their primary care provider before using an over-the-counter nicotine replacement to see which one would is best for them. Providers can also prescribe smoking cessation medications proven effective and can provide the support and encouragement you need to kick the habit for good.

For more information on CVMC’s resources to help you quit smoking, contact Peggy Messick at the Health First Center – or 828.485.2300 x6202.

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