Kicking the Habit for the New Year - - Texoma news, weather and sports

Kicking the Habit for the New Year

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CARTER COUNTY, OK-- Is your new year's resolution to quit smoking. We may have some helpful information for you. For many people putting down the pack of cigarettes can be a tough task, but we spoke with some people who can help you take that step.    

In Texas, about 19% of residents are smokers.

In Oklahoma, more than 25% of people smoke.    

Debra Knight of Carter County talked to KTEN about her struggles with smoking for more than 20-years.    

She's been smoke free for a year now, and says she's seen a dramatic improvement to her health.

"I mean I can walk a little farther, I can get out and play with the kids a little bit more," says Knight. "It's just, I mean it's amazing just what a year of not smoking can do."    

National statistics show 3 out of 4 smokers want to quit and local nurses tell us there are many reasons you should quit.

Topping that list, the dangers that face your loved ones and especially young children.

"Children are really high risk for asthma and breathing problems and people don't realize that there's growth retardation when they're around second hand smoke," says nurse Anna Duran. "And ear infections are really common to the point of even deafness."    

You don't have to kick the habit on your own, there are many resources available for anyone hoping to quit.    

The Carter County Health Department offers a program called freedom from smoking.    

They council you to help you put down the pack and it's free.    

For Debra, the final straw was her grandchildren.

"You know, I'd hear them so much, say mawmaw, they call me mawmaw, that's gonna kill you. And you know, you kind of get like, oh just go sit down and you know it's okay but you know you start listening to them."    

And if you've tried unsuccessfully to quit, you're not alone.

"It's important to know, too, that it usually takes several attempts to quit smoking," says Duran. "Most people try several times. So if you've tried to quit in the past then actually you've probably got a higher chance of succeeding."

Knight adds, "Every year, I went through that and finally I just had to give it to a higher power and I prayed about it, walked away and never went back."

-Meredith Saldana, KTEN News

Here is a list of resources sent to KTEN:

*The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline (1-800-QUIT-NOW)

*Approximately 40,000 Oklahomans call the Helpline each year for free quit coaching
and free patches or gum.
*Five Day Countdown
  Start by making your home and vehicle a tobacco free zone.

5 Days Before Your Quit Date
       Think about your reasons for quitting.  Write them down.
       Tell your friends and family you are planning to quit.
       Stop buying cigarettes

4 Days Before Your Quit Date
       Pay attention to when and why you smoke.
       Think of other things to hold in your hand instead of a cigarette
       Think of habits or routines to change.

3 Days Before Your Quit Date
       What will you do with the extra money when you stop buying
cigarettes?  Make a list.
       Think about who you can contact when you need help.

2 Days Before Your Quit Date
       Buy the nicotine patch or nicotine gum
       Or visit your doctor to get the nicotine inhaler, nasal spray, or the
non-nicotine pill

1 Day Before Your Quit Date
       Put away lighters and ashtrays.
       Destroy all cigarettes and matches.
       Clean your clothes to get rid of the smell of cigarette smoke

Quit Day
       Think of yourself as a non-smoker
       Remind family and friends that this is your quit day.
       Stay away from alcohol.
       Do something special for yourself

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Save Money
The average price for a pack of cigarettes in Oklahoma is approximately $4.80
At a pack a day, that adds up to about $1752 a year. Over ten years,
that's $17,520.

Save Time
On average it takes 7 minutes to smoke a cigarette. At a pack a day,
that's just over 2 hours and 20 minutes. Over ten years, that's 354
days, or almost one entire year spent smoking.

Feel Better  (Source: American Lung Association)
Within 20 minutes of quitting:
       Blood pressure decreases and pulse rate drops

Within 8 hours of quitting:
       Oxygen level in blood returns to normal

Within 24 hours of quitting:
       Chance of a heart attack decreases

Within 48 hours of quitting:
       Ability to smell and taste is enhanced

Within 3 months of quitting:
       Circulation and lung function improve

Within 9 months of quitting:
Coughing, sinus congestion, wheezing, fatigue and shortness of breathe decrease

       Within 1 year of quitting:
               Risk of coronary heart disease is lowered to half of that of a smoker