You are tougher
By Megan Prather, Staff Writer
/ Published November 27, 2019
Since 1977, the American Cancer Society’s initiative, The Great American Smokeout, has taken place in November with a goal of urging tobacco users to quit and adopt healthier alternatives to dealing with stress and other life triggers that cause tobacco use.
This year’s theme is “tobacco is tough, but you are tougher” and Laura Crowder, Health Promotion Services manager with the 72nd Medical Group, says that November is the perfect time to hold this initiative as people tend to smoke more around the holiday season due to stress.
“This day can enable people to see their strength,” Crowder said. “If you can quit for a 24-hour period, then when you’re ready to actually quit, you’re more successful because you can look back on that day and say ‘I could do it for 24 hours and I survived.’”
Crowder emphasized that this event wasn’t just for people who smoke, but for those who use any form of dipping tobacco, nicotine or vapor products as well.
“We encouraged people who use any form of tobacco, nicotine or vapor products to quit for that day,” Crowder said. “Maybe they aren’t ready to quit, because 24 hours can be a big deal for some people, but maybe they set the intention to smoke one less cigarette or do one less dip or reduce how much they use their vaping products.”
The military promotes the Great American Smokeout as a day to encourage quitting tobacco and nicotine products. Tinker Air Force Base also offers multiple resources year-round to Tinkerites attempting to quit. Active duty members can attend tobacco treatment counseling sessions with Crowder to work on reinforcing behaviors to prevent relapse. Dependents and retirees can receive assistance through the Behavioral Health Optimization Program and civilian team members can reach out to Health Promotion Services.
“There’s more to tobacco and nicotine than just to have it, it’s an addiction as well,” Crowder said. “Understanding how to change that behavior, how to handle that addiction process to help someone successfully quit and be healthy and improve their overall wellbeing is sometimes lost. I want to do things so we can see why they started in the first place and why they’re interested in cutting back or quitting, and to help them in whatever shape or form that will look like for them to be successful.”