Quitting tobacco is hard. You may have tried quitting in the past or there may be a part of you that has thought about quitting for some time now. Still, there is nothing easy about giving up something that is part of your everyday life. Don’t let the barriers below stop you from gaining the benefits from quitting tobacco for good.

I’LL GAIN TOO MUCH WEIGHT. – Only 1/3 of people who quit tobacco gain weight (about 5-7 pounds). You would have to gain nearly 100 pounds on top of what you already weigh, for the health effects of obesity to outweigh those of tobacco. Making changes to your eating habits, like eating more fruits and vegetables, and engaging in regular physical activity are ways to help you overcome weight gain.

I’VE CUT WAY DOWN. – Tobacco use in any amount harms every part of your body. Many smokers will make up for smoking fewer cigarettes by puffing harder and inhaling deeper on the ones they DO smoke. Chew tobacco contains toxins and carcinogens so there is no safe level of dip either. E-cigarettes can contain chemicals, unsafe levels of nicotine and cancer-causing agents.

THERE IS TOO MUCH STRESS IN MY LIFE TO QUIT NOW. – There is no perfect time to quit. Although it may change the way you feel in that moment, smoking or taking a pinch of dip is not going to change the situation or outcome.

I WILL GET IRRITABLE WHEN I QUIT. – Using tobacco calms your body while at the same time stimulating your mind. Other activities can do the same thing, such as deep breathing, meditation, soothing music, and relaxation. Physical activity can also provide relief from withdrawal symptoms while helping get your mind off of smoking or dipping. Having a plan for dealing with withdrawal symptoms will get you through the tough weeks or when the urge to use tobacco strikes.

HOW AM I GOING TO STAY AWAKE WHEN I AM ON DUTY? –Find healthier alternatives and ask non-tobacco users what they do to stay awake. Drinking cold water is an excellent way of waking yourself up. Keep your mind busy with ways that work for you. If possible, read a book, play a game on your phone, or take a short walk.

HOW AM I GOING TO GET MY INFORMATION IF I DON’T GO TO THE SMOKE PIT? – Pay attention to others who do not smoke or dip. How do they get information? Surrounding yourself with non-tobacco users will provide you a positive and supportive environment to help you quit tobacco.

Don’t let these challenges be the reason you continue to use tobacco. The Semper Fit Health Promotion Program will teach you the strategies to overcome the challenges with quitting; and by attending the OPERATION TOBACCO-FREE MARINE class and using one of the cessation medications available to you from your medical provider, you double your chances of quitting tobacco for good.

For tobacco cessation support and getting information on how to quit, contact your local Health Promotion Program via the contact information below.