Great American Smokeout is opportunity to take advantage of free resources to help you quit smoking
Set for Nov. 21, the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout challenges smokers to use that day to make a plan to stop using tobacco. Research shows that smokers who pick a quit date in the next 30 days and stick to it are more likely to quit for good.
With the Great American Smokeout just days away, the City’s Employee Wellness Committee reminds their smoking coworkers that there are many free resources available to help them kick the tobacco habit.
Resources to help you quit
City employees and their family members covered by Medica can take advantage of Medica’s tobacco cessation program at no charge. Tobacco Cessation program participants can choose the level of support they want and receive:
- Confidential sessions with a specially trained health coach.
- Help with the psychological and physical aspects of nicotine dependence.
- A personalized quit plan and self-help materials.
- Over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy (patch, gum, lozenge), if medically appropriate, at no additional cost.
To learn more, call Medica at 1-800-934-4824. Medica members can also enroll online.
If you opt to begin Medica’s tobacco cessation program in 2014 and complete the program by Aug. 31, 2014, you can earn 100 points in Medica’s My Health Rewards program. (Medica’s My Health Rewards program offers wellness activity options that enable participants to qualify for a reduced contribution rate on their health insurance premium.)
Health benefits of quitting
Besides saving you money, quitting smoking will give you and your family a healthier future. Health benefits of quitting include:
- 20 minutes after quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
- 12 hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
- 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: Your circulation improves, and your lung function increases.
- 1 to 9 months after quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures in the lungs) regain normal function, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.
- 1 year after quitting: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s.
- 10 years after quitting: The lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker. The risks of cancer of the larynx and pancreas decrease.
- 15 years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s.
- 5 years after quitting: Risks of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder are cut in half. Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a nonsmoker. Stroke risk can fall to that of a nonsmoker after 2 to 5 years.
Published Nov. 13, 2013