Tobacco Free Columbia
Tobacco addiction is among the leading preventable causes of morbidity and mortality in Florida and in the United States. Cigarette use, alone, results in an estimated 430,000 deaths each year in the US, including 28,700 deaths in Florida.
Tobacco use is the single largest cause of preventable premature death in the United States. The list of illnesses caused by tobacco use is long and contains many of the most common causes of death, including heart disease, stroke, many forms of cancer and lung, and vascular diseases. The tobacco industry spends close to $1 billion in Florida annually to market its products.
While the makers of e-cigarettes claim they are safe, the Florida Department of Health’s Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida is wary of any perceived benefits to using these products and advises consumers to wait for reliable scientific evidence to become available before using e-cigarettes. Without scientific evidence from credible sources, Tobacco Free Florida cannot endorse e-cigarettes as a beneficial step for smokers who are attempting to quit. For more information on e-cigarettes, visit Tobacco Free Florida's website.
The Tobacco Prevention and Control Program
Tobacco Free Columbia Partnership
The Partnership is a county-wide, locally organized group committed to saving lives and improving the overall health and well-being of residents and visitors by reducing and/or eliminating use of tobacco products. The Partnership is comprised of community members who advocate policy changes and educate decision makers about the impact of tobacco on all of our lives.
Prevention of the initiation of tobacco use
Protection from secondhand tobacco smoke
Promotion of tobacco cessation
SWAT Club - Students Working Against Tobacco
Resources to Help You Quit Tobacco
Suwannee River Area Health Education Center (AHEC): AHEC holds free IQuit group counseling classes Quit Smoking Now (QSN), a six week program and a one time, two hour class called Tools to Quit (TTQ). Both programs cover all forms of tobacco from cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes to smokeless tobacco. Participants in the class receive support, guidance, and a free one month supply of nicotine replacement therapy, such as nicotine patches, lozenges, and gum. To set yourself free from tobacco visit our website at www.ahectobacco.com or call toll free 1-866-341-2730 to find a class near you.
Tobacco Free Florida: www.tobaccofreeflorida.com
Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids: www.tobaccofreekids.org
Good Reasons for Quitting Tobacco
Quitting tobacco is one of the most important things you will ever do:
- You will live longer and live better.
- Quitting will lower your chance of having a heart attack, stroke, or cancer.
- If you are pregnant, quitting smoking will improve your chances of having a healthy baby.
- The people you live with, especially your children, will be healthier.
- You will have extra money to spend on things other than tobacco.
Five Keys for Quitting: Studies have shown that these five steps will help you quit and quit for good. You have the best chances of quitting if you use them together:
- Get Ready: Set a quit date.
- Get Support: Talk to family, friends, and your health care provider. Get individual, group, or telephone counseling. Or you can call the Florida Department of Health in Columbia County Tobacco Prevention about programs in your area.
- Learn New Skills and Behaviors: Change your routine. Go for a walk. Drink lots of water. Plan something enjoyable to do every day.
- Get Medication and Use It Correctly: Medications can help you stop smoking and lessen the urge to smoke. Ask your health care provider for advice and carefully read the information on the package. Everyone who is trying to quit may benefit from using a medication. If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, nursing, under age 18, smoking fewer than 10 cigarettes per day, or have a medical condition, talk to your doctor or other health care provider before taking medications.
- Be Prepared for Relapse or Difficult Situations: Most relapses occur within the first 3 months after quitting. Don't be discouraged if you start smoking again. Remember, most people try several times before they finally quit.
Hare are some difficult situations to watch for:
- Alcohol: Avoid drinking alcohol. Drinking lowers your chances of success.
- Other smokers: Being around smoking can make you want to smoke.
- Weight gain: Many smokers will gain weight when they quit, usually less than 10 pounts. Eat a healthy diet and stay active. Don't let weight gain distract you from your main goal - quitting smoking. Some quit smoking medications may help delay weiht gain.
- Bad mood or depression - There are a lot of ways to improve your mood other than smoking.