'Commit to Quit' smoking

Wednesday, July 16th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Smoking kills nearly 6,000 Oklahomans each year, much higher than the national death rate from tobacco-related illness.

News on 6 anchor Tami Marler takes a look at the ways - and reasons - you should "Commit to Quit.” They’ve been called "death sticks", because they contribute to heart and lung disease, cancer and a host of serious health problems. Still, more than 23% of Oklahoma adults light up. "Nicotine is physically addictive. The body can become addicted to nicotine just like it does to things like cocaine and heroin." Dr. Sharon Smallwood says she's started many patients on nicotine gum, inhalers and patches - because kicking the physical addiction alone, is nearly impossible.”

Only a small percentage of people - maybe 2% - actually throw the cigarettes and they're done. Most of the people actually have to start quitting smoking several times before they actually are done smoking cigarettes."

These days there are plenty of ways to quit smoking, and as Dr. Smallwood says, plenty of reasons - the most obvious being your health. But maybe the most important reason - is someone who looks up to you. "He like collapsed on the ground and then like he didn't get enough oxygen to his brain." Steffan Clemmerson recently lost his grandfather to the habit that runs in his family. "Yeah, my mom, grandma, grandpa, aunts, cousins."

Nick Baker's mother has tried to quit several times, with little success. "She usually stops for about three weeks, and then she - it's so hard - she gets back on it." Steffan and Nick say they won't start, but the CDC projects nearly 78,000 young Oklahomans will die because of smoking. “That’s bad. That's a lot of kids, too." Now they play a role in helping their loved ones ‘Commit to Quit.’

"Helping them understand how it makes you feel is also very important especially when it's a loved one and it's someone in the same house." "Commit to Quit" is a support kit to help you quit smoking.

You can pick up a free information packet from the American Cancer Society packet.