New Year’s resolution to quit tobacco? Help is available

New Year 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 Substance Abuse Council would like to remind residents who have made the healthy resolution to quit smoking, or using tobacco products of any kind, that help and support are available through Quitline Iowa.

According to the 2020 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, in Iowa, 15.8 percent of adults are current smokers. About one in five Iowa adults use tobacco in some form and 75 percent of those who use tobacco products want to quit within the next year. Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death for Iowans, taking the lives of more than 5,100 each year.

The benefits of stopping the use of tobacco are almost immediate. According to the American Lung Association, within 20 minutes, your heart rate and blood pressure drops. 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, freeing yourself of addiction from nicotine in tobacco products can be challenging. ASAC can provide help.

ASAC can assist in finding the right program for you to help you be successful. People who quit smoking while using a support system are twice as likely to remain smoke free. Whether it be your desire to quit in a supportive group setting in Freedom from Smoking or using Quitline Iowa, which pairs tobacco users with a Quit Coach to help them develop an individualized quitting plan through 24-hour telephone and texting services, ASAC can help you determine the best way to stay tobacco free.

For more information contact ASAC Prevention at (319) 390-4611 or through email at prevention@asac.us . Let ASAC help you make 2022 your healthiest, tobacco-free, year yet.

Candace Seitz,Area Substance Abuse Council

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