The Great American Smokeout is Nov. 16posted by Amber Brady on November 1, 2023
The Great American Smokeout is on Thursday, November 16! The American Cancer Society’s goal for the day is to encourage as many smokers as they can to make a plan to quit. An estimated 34 million American adults smoke cigarettes and smoking remains one of the biggest preventable causes of illness and death. It’s never a bad time to quit. You’ll get both long and short-term benefits like reducing your risk of heart attack, cancer and stroke, improving your circulation, and more.
You can also save $35 in medical plans per pay period by agreeing not to use tobacco during the 2024 plan year. To receive the premium reduction, you must accept the Non-Tobacco Use Agreement within your Open Enrollment event. By selecting the “I accept” button on the agreement you are agreeing to not use any tobacco products throughout 2024 and understand that you may be subject to cotinine testing and agree to such testing. If you are unable to maintain your new smoke-free lifestyle, you must revoke the agreement in PeopleSoft prior to using any tobacco product or risk termination. When revoking the agreement, you agree to repay the State of Indiana for each $35 bi-weekly premium reduction you received for 2024.
Make a plan
If you’re thinking about quitting, there are a few steps the American Cancer Society recommends to help keep you on the right track.
First, think through your reasons for quitting. Whether you’re quitting to avoid getting a tobacco-related disease, to make a healthy change in your life, to save the money you spend on tobacco products, or for any other reason, know what motivates you. Once you’ve thought through your reasons, set a date to quit. Pick a date within the next month to hold yourself accountable and it can be a date with meaning to you or any date you’d like. Mark it on your calendar and tell your loved ones.
Find the support you need
The American Cancer Society recognizes that quitting isn’t an easy task but is absolutely possible with the right planning and support. They encourage those who want to quit to seek out resources like:
- Support from friends and family to stick to quitting
- Quitlines: Indiana’s free quitline is 1-800-QUIT-NOW
- Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
- Coaching plans (like Commit to Quit Tobacco Coaching with ActiveHealth)
- Self-help books
You can also find more resources on the Invest In Your Health website.
Prepare to quit
Once you’ve thought through your reasons for quitting, chosen a day to quit and reviewed potential resources, here are some other ways you can prepare for success:
- Cut down on tobacco product use leading up to your quit day
- Find some substitutes for your tobacco products like gum, coffee, hard candy, toothpicks, etc.
- Get rid of tobacco products, including those used alongside the products (like ash trays)
- Ask your loved ones to avoid using tobacco around you
- Talk to your primary care provider about what might work best for you
For more tips, visit the American Cancer Society website.