Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

New programs offer help to Colorado smokers trying to kick the habit

December 29, 2017 Updated: December 29, 2017 at 2:58 pm
0
Caption +
New programs offer help to Colorado smokers trying to kick the habit (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

It's a New Year's resolution that's particularly hard to keep.

But as cigarette smokers across Colorado vow to snuff their cigarettes for the last time, several new programs are available to help people kick the habit - even if it takes a few tries.

The typical smoker, after all, tries seven to 12 times before finally calling it quits, said Dacia Hudson, program manager for El Paso County Public Health's Tobacco Education and Prevention Partnership.

"Even if they're not able to fully quit on their first attempt, it's not a failure," Hudson said. "They need to keep trying, because nicotine is just so addictive, and quitting is really hard."

A few new programs have been created to help stack the odds in smokers' favor.

A new mobile app, called #ThisIsQuitting and available on Apple and Android phones, offers peer support, text messaging help and other activities.

The Colorado QuitLine also launched a new website, www.coquitline.org, which can help Coloradans set up a "quit plan" while giving them four free weeks of nicotine patches, gum or lozenges.

Two new initiatives also aim to reduce the cost of anti-smoking medications.

Colorado's Medicaid program, also known as Health First Colorado, now offers tobacco cessation medications and therapy without a copay.

And an FDA-approved, prescription medication called Chantix is being offered for free through the Colorado QuitLine.

The smorgasbord of options highlights a reality of nicotine addiction: that no one program or idea works for everyone, said Liz Whitley, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's director of prevention services.

Research has shown that a combination of coaching and cessation medications are most effective at helping people quit smoking, she said.

But, she added, no two people are alike in this struggle.

"It's highly individualized, and people need to do what works best for them," Whitley said. "It's like ridding yourself of any undesirable behavior - it's difficult."

Hudson suggested anticipating trigger points throughout the day that could spark cravings.

People who smoke during breaks at work may want to find a new hangout spot. And anyone who smokes in their car or truck may want to have it professionally cleaned, to reduce a smell of smoke that could leave them itching to light up.

"It's really important that they surround themselves with people that are supportive of their decision to quit," Hudson said.

But should that resolution last only a few days or even hours, there's no reason not to try again..

"You have to look at even the small successes along the way," she said.

-

Contact Jakob Rodgers: 476-1654

Twitter: @jakobrodgers

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Incognito Mode Your browser is in Incognito mode

You vanished!

We welcome you to read all of our stories by signing into your account. If you don't have a subscription, please subscribe today for daily award winning journalism.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

or
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?
 
This is your last FREE article for the month
This is your last FREE article for the month

Subscribe now and enjoy Unlimited Digital Access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?

 
You have reached your article limit for the month
You have reached your article limit for the month

We hope that you've enjoyed your complimentary access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?

 
articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.