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Front Page » August 3, 2010 » Emery County News » Added tax on cigarettes could be good time to quit
Published 1,512 days ago

Added tax on cigarettes could be good time to quit


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By PATSY STODDARD
Editor

With the recent increase on July 1 of the tax on tobacco in Utah, tobacco users are doing a number of things to alleviate the shock to the wallet when purchasing tobacco items. Some tobacco users have said they are still going to use tobacco and will go out of state to purchase tobacco. Trips to Idaho, Nevada and Colorado to stock up on cigarettes are common. Some users will pay the extra dollar tax per pack. But, some users are going to try to quit at this time. This is the healthy choice and the focus of this article.

Doctor Tamra Lewis works with people who are quitting smoking. Smokers come in a lot of different categories. There are those who have struggled to quit and succeeded. There are those who have never tried to quit, but are now seeking help to quit. The most common category of smoker is one who has tried several times unsuccessfully to quit. They may go for periods of time without smoking and then suddenly return to smoking.

Since smoking has become more expensive, this is a good time to look into new opportunities for quitting. Dr. Lewis recommends getting some help to quit smoking. See your doctor to determine what new products are out there to aid in your fight to quit smoking. Dr. Lewis said, "Tobacco is a severe addiction. People are physically dependent on cigarettes and other tobacco products. They have built their lives around smoking and their social groups, family groups and co-workers. Because it's part of their social lives, they need help. They need counseling to quit. There will be physical issues to address as well as mental issues. Quitting is different for each person. Some people try eight-10 times before they succeed. If they haven't succeeded in the past then a different approach might be needed in a combination of therapies.

"Quitting smoking is a process. Relapse is common as old behaviors resurface. Smokers need to incorporate new behaviors into their lives. It's harder for some people to quit than others due to genetic factors. Those people need behavior counseling and a lot of support. They need to learn new behaviors. It's hard for young smokers to look down the road and see they are putting their health at risk. The earlier in your life you quit the better. But, quitting at any stage of your life will have a positive effect.

"Short term effects of smoking include difficulty breathing, bad breath, diminished athletic performance, smell like smoke, dry leathery skin, unhealthy skin tone, general appearance of unhealthiness; long term effects include heart disease, the number one killer and smokers are high risk for all types of cancers.

"Fifty percent of people who smoke will die from smoking related illness. Risk goes down dramatically if you quit smoking.

"Raising taxes on tobacco does help, it encourages people to quit. New therapies and products come out continually. Check www.mytimetoquit.com for more information on products. Call the Utah Tobacco helpline at 1-888-567-truth for help in quitting. We encourage people to go to their physicians. The physician can help you outline the steps you need to take to quit. Three-five percent of those trying to quit will quit cold turkey. This doesn't work. Fifty percent of smokers are trying to quit. Some smokers will experience a five-10 pound weight gain while quitting. This is minimal, a small weight gain is expected. You will die from smoking, we will work on the weight after you've quit. The benefits from quitting smoking will begin immediately. Your sense of taste will come back, you will feel like exercising more. Getting you off tobacco is the most important thing.

"Get someone to quit with you. Don't allow smoking in your house. Get everyone involved in the quit smoking process. Think of your children, oftentimes if parents smoke then the children are more likely to smoke not to mention the effects second hand smoke can have on your children and family. Smoking will shorten your life, think to yourself you want to be around to see your grandchildren so quit now.

"Don't start smoking, if you are a smoker now, then quit. You will be more successful in quitting if you understand the therapies available. Smoking ties you down. You will often only go places where you know you can smoke. Tobacco controls you. Take back your life. Control your life, don't let tobacco control you.

"Everyone understands tobacco is bad for you, but it's hard to quit. It's an addiction. Find your help. Quit, it will be worth it for the rest of your lives. If you make it six months to a year without smoking you have a good chance of succeeding. Be ready and guard against relapses. Know what makes you want to smoke, what are your triggers and receptors. Develop good habits to take the place of your bad ones," said Dr. Lewis.

An average package of cigarettes is $6 and a carton is approximately $60. Dr. Lewis said help is available, you're not alone, but only you can take the first step to stop smoking.

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August 3, 2010
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