Make a Plan and...Quit!

Celebrate The Great American Smokeout Day

The American Cancer Society marks the third Thursday of November The Great American Smokeout Day for an important reason. This date sends a message to people across the nation to take a step toward a healthier lifestyle. Today signifies supporting those who do smoke in making an effort to quit, as well as reducing cancer.

If you are a smoker, use The Great American Smokeout Day as the perfect opportunity to stop smoking and protect your health and the health of your loved ones. It is not news that smoking inflicts immediate damage to your body, threatening your future with increased risks for cancer, heart attack, lung disease, and early death.

Break the smoking habit

Here is a plan to help you quit smoking, according to HelpGuide.Org . Use these tips to break the addiction, manage your cravings, and kick the habit for good.

Start your stop smoking plan with START

S = Set a quit date.

Choose a date within the next two weeks so you have enough time to prepare without losing your motivation to quit. If you mainly smoke at work, quit on the weekend, so you have a few days to adjust to the change.

T = Tell family, friends and co-workers that you plan to quit.

Let your friends and family in on your plan to quit smoking, and tell them you need their support and encouragement. Look for a quit buddy who wants to stop smoking as well. You can help each other get through the rough times.

stop smoking

A = Anticipate and plan for the challenges you'll face while quitting.

Most people who begin smoking again do so within the first 3 months. You can help yourself make it through by preparing ahead for common challenges, such as nicotine withdrawal and cigarette cravings.

R = Remove cigarettes and other tobacco products from your home, car and workplace.

Throw away all of your cigarettes (no emergency pack), lighters, ashtrays and matches. Wash your clothes and freshen up anything that smells like smoke. Shampoo your car, clean your drapes and carpet, and steam your furniture.

T = Talk to your doctor about getting help to quit.

Your doctor can prescribe medication to help with withdrawal and suggest other alternatives. If you can't see a doctor, you can get many products over the counter at your local pharmacy or grocery store, including the nicotine patch, nicotine lozenges, and nicotine gum.

Here is the great news about quitting: Smoking is not physically addictive for very long after you stop smoking.  Many studies have shown that about 100 hours after your last cigarette, all of the nicotine is out of your bloodstream.  And once all the nicotine is out of your bloodstream, you’re no longer physically addicted to cigarettes.

If you vacation in North Myrtle Beach or if you are a resident of this area, check out Smoke Free NMB, a grassroots organization with a mission to reduce the effects of secondhand smoke (SHS) on workers, residents and visitors.

According to the American Cancer Society, tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S. Free help is available at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) and at 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569) (for Spanish speakers). You also can visit which features tools to install on your computer, such as the Smokeout Countdown Clock that allows you to pick your quit date and provides daily tips.

SmokeFree NMB:
American Cancer Society's tools:


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