Cigarettes (generic)

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, about 8.6 million people in the U.S. have at least one serious illness caused by smoking.

The week of Nov. 18-22, Great Plains Health, the Nebraska Tobacco Quitline and more than 20 other not-for-profit, health, advocacy, government and pharmaceutical organizations across the state are teaming up for Cessation Week.

It is commonly known that tobacco use can lead to nicotine dependence and serious health problems.

In Nebraska, more than half of adult cigarette smokers reported they had tried to quit in the past year. Cessation Week focuses on increasing Nebraskans’ awareness of the many resources available to help tobacco users successfully quit for good.

“It is never too late to quit smoking,” said Dr. Guido Molina, a pulmonologist at Great Plains Health. “The sooner you quit, the sooner you can stop the damage that smoking has caused.”

According to Department of Health and Human Services statistics, 15.4% of adult Nebraskans smoke, and nearly 700 kids under the age of 18 become new smokers each year.

The financial impact is significant, too. Businesses lose an estimated $605 million dollars in productivity due to smoking. Related health care costs total an estimated $795 million.

Quitting is hard for many people who smoke. It takes commitment and starts with a plan. It often takes trying to quit more than once, and requires varied levels of support.

Often, the younger the individual begins smoking, the more intense the addiction.

Smokers are strongly advised to use proven cessation methods, prescription medications and counseling, or a combination of all three to quit smoking, and to talk to their physician or pharmacist for advice.

There are any number of cessation tools available, including a support team.

Necessary tools are available by contacting healthcare providers and calling available quit lines, such as the Nebraska Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

There are several events during Tobacco Cessation week that can help individuals get the process started to quit tobacco.

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