The American Cancer Society marked the 37th Great American Smokeout on November 15 by encouraging smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. By doing so, smokers will be taking an important step towards a healthier life – one that can lead to reducing cancer risk.
Resources available to Villanova faculty and staff include tobacco cessation classes either on-campus through the Office of Health Promotion or through the Employee Assistance Program, the PA Quitline and medication through Medco, our pharmacy benefit manager. Please note that the medication coverage with Medco is an enhancement to our formulary coverage and will not be effective until November 15th.
Please review the University Tobacco Policy which states that tobacco use is permitted outside campus buildings provided the person is at least 25 feet from an entrance or exit, air intake duct or window.
Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US, yet more than 45 million Americans still smoke cigarettes. However, more than half of these smokers have attempted to quit for at least one day in the past year. As of 2010, there were also 13.2 million cigar smokers in the US, and 2.2 million who smoke tobacco in pipes.
Quitting is hard, but you can increase your chances of success with help. The American Cancer Society can tell you about the steps you can take to quit smoking and provide the resources and support that can increase your chances of quitting successfully. To learn about the available tools, call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.
Quitting wasn't really that straightforward. I first quit in 1985 after being diagnosed with a medical condition. My doctor advised me to quit smoking as the condition may have been caused by the reaction of nicotine with medication. I did as he suggested. One year later I gave birth to my daughter, Jen. A few months after that I started smoking again. When Jen was about 1 1/2 (1988) she toddled over to the back screen door and watched me as I smoked a cigarette outside. She watched me with curiosity. That was when I quit again. I haven't smoked since then.
Luisa Cywinski, Falvery Library
I started smoking in 1997 during my last year of high school. Smoking became a calming mechanism for me and eventually, I was doing it out of boredom and habit. I quit smoking on Labor Day, 2010. I had tried quitting smoking many times before for numerous reasons but my success had never lasted more than a few months. In 2010, my wife and I decided we were going to start thinking of having kids and the smoking habit needed to end for both of us. We both quit at the same time; I did it cold turkey and my wife used Nicorette.
It’s been a little over two years since either of us has had a cigarette. I will admit at times, the urge comes back to have one and when we hang out with friends who smoke, I’ll sometimes want one, but have not had one since 2010. I feel better and have better breathing since I have quit and my asthma has improved while playing sports and exercising.
In late 2011, I had an incident while playing ice hockey. I went to the hospital and the questions that were repeated to me at the hospital by every doctor was, “How much do you smoke and how many energy drinks do you have every day?” My answer to both questions was none. It was never confirmed that smoking played any part in that medical issue but I now use the event as a reminder to not pick up smoking again.
I also think of my daughter when I feel like I want one and remind myself that I don’t want her to see me smoke and have her go through the process of starting smoking and quiting. Quiting smoking is definitely one of the hardest things I have done in my life.
Bryan Mathes, Graphics Services