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Greene County Health Department Offers Help to Quit Smoking

For many tobacco users quitting can be the most proactive method of improving their health. This is the time of year when kicking the smoking habit is a common goal. The Springfield-Greene County Health Department is reminding residents of several options to help put down their cigarettes for good.  KSMU’s Matthew Barnes reports.

When attempting to quit smoking one of the most important things is taking the time to plan. Mike Brothers is spokesperson for the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.

“I think there is a number of conversations that you need to have before you go into this. The first one being with yourself, to make sure that you are really ready to do this. Doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy, doesn’t mean you’re going to be successful on that first try, but you got to be mentally ready and really willing. Another conversation you need to have is with your family, and your friends and your co-workers, because you’re going to need their help. You’re going to need them to be understanding that you may not be yourself, you may be a little irritable, you may be struggling,” says Brothers

Picking your date for quitting a few weeks in advance and talking to your doctor about possible options are some easy ways according to brothers, to ease into the quitting process. Finding an activity to replace the habit of smoking can help to reduce the stress.

“Exercise helps a lot. Drinking water helps a lot. You can also find some things to snack on, preferably something healthy because you don’t want to just replace that with food,” says Brothers.

Also according to Brothers, removing things that remind you of smoking can help put down the cravings.

“For instance if you go into a work place where there are other people smoking and they are all crowded around the door. Well it’s not going to help you to walk through that smoke, try a different door way if you can. Maybe change up your routine in the morning a little bit. Try to maybe eliminate that time you had that seven or eight minutes to have that cigarette,” says Brothers.

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department is offering a “Freedom From Smoking” program for prospective quitters who    may not know all of their options or don’t like the idea of trying to quit alone.  The course is seven weeks long. For more information call the department at 417-864-1687. For KSMU I’m Matthew Barnes.