The events at the Boston Marathon were overwhelming and incomprehensible for all.
Most people who smoke understand the health risks to cigarette smoking but still continue to smoke. This is especially true for employees at Boston Medical Center which became a smoke-free campus in April 2012. Many of these employees who smoke have tried to quit and may have indeed been able to quit for a few months or a few years, but eventually find themselves smoking again. A combination of a behavioral or physiological addiction to nicotine and the daily stress in their lives can make it extremely difficult to these employees to stop smoking.
|Health Risks from Smoking
If you are an employee who smokes cigarettes ask yourself these questions:
- Do you need a cigarette within 5-10 minutes of waking up in the morning?
- Do you find it difficult to refrain from smoking even in places where it is forbidden?
- Do you smoke even when you are so ill you are in bed for most of the day?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions you may need some help to quit smoking.
You can develop a plan to stop smoking!
- First talk to your primary care providers about your desire to quit smoking. They can prescribe medications that will help decrease the cravings that come from nicotine withdrawal.
- Set a QUIT DATE for stopping in the two weeks after your appointment.
- Let you family, friends, and co-workers know you are stopping smoking. Ask for their support.
- Think about the contextual “triggers” that make you want to smoking, such a finishing a meal, drinking a cup of coffee, or talking on the phone. Make a play for what you can do differently when you stop smoking (eg. Suck on a clear candy after meal, switch to tea in the morning, etc.)
- Be prepared for relapse and difficult situations. It may take many tries before you finally quit, but each try brings you closer to the goal for quitting forever.
QuitNet – free smoking cessation support program and medications available for Boston University employees
Massachusetts Smokers’ Helpline – confidential telephone information, referral and counseling at no charge to smokers to want to quit. 1-800-TRY TO STOP (800-879-8678)
List of Quit Smoking resources – courtesy of Smoke Free at BMC