Encourage patients, family, friends to quit smoking

Smoking or using tobacco products is a major cause of cardiovascular disease, which leads to stroke or heart attacks. That’s why it’s critical that doctors and other healthcare workers encourage their patients to quit smoking and help them reach out to friends and family who smoke and encourage them to quit as well.

November is the perfect month to do this. November 16 is the American Cancer Society Great American Smoke-out event.  Also, many Americans gather together with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, making it a great time to remind patients that they can live life to the fullest by quitting smoking.

Encourage someone you know to use the date to make a plan to quit, or plan in advance and then quit smoking that day. By quitting – even for 1 day – smokers will be taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing their cardiovascular and cancer risk.

Most people find that a combination of resources works best. Many smokers do not quit on their first attempt. Many need several tries to successfully quit. But the benefits are well worth it, so patients and family members should be encouraged to keep trying. The Centers for Disease Control offers a Quitline for people who want to stop smoking: 1-800-QUIT-NOW. Patients can also visit www.smokefree.gov for more support.