Did you know that nicotine is considered to be as addictive a substance as heroin or cocaine? No wonder many smokers find it difficult to quit. It’s a battle worth fighting, though. According to the American Cancer Society, smoking leads the way as a main cause of lung cancer. And anecdotally, employers report lost productivity from smokers who take multiple breaks to light up throughout the workday.
New advancements in smoking cessation offer novel ways to quit. Read below as we examine some of them, and then share the information with your workforce. We hope you’ll have an entire roster of quitters as a result.
Smartphone Apps – These vary immensely. Some simply offer quitting tips, while others take on a journal approach. Woke up and had a cigarette? -Log it. Avoided buying a pack? -Log that too; give yourself a pat on the back. Not dissimilar to a diet app that requires the user to log meals, the journal apps keep a person accountable. Whether this approach works is very individualistic, and not a lot of research has been done to demonstrate efficacy. However, if a person responds to text reminders that tell him to ‘stay strong and put down the cigarette,’ that method may work. A few of these apps to consider include LiveStrong and Quit for Life.
Behavioral Techniques – Heard of mindfulness? It’s a buzz word in the cessation realm now. Different behavioral techniques like mindfulness are being purported by some as quit aids. The idea of “self-expansion” is also being considered; this couples quitting with other positive events. Joined the company softball team? -It’s a great time to quit! Purchased a new home? -Why not make sure it’s free from soot? This strategy packages the ‘quit’ into an appealing event, in essence making the cessation action part of the positive occurrence.
Extensive research has not yet proved how effective the different techniques discussed above are, but preliminary results are promising for some individuals. It’s always a good idea to share a multitude of options with smokers, as what works for one person may not work for another. It’s the same with weight loss: some wouldn’t respond to a diet journal, as they would forget to write down every morsel of food consumed; for others, all it would take is a visible reminder of that 3,500 calorie day to change their behavior.
The tools are widely available. And even though employees looking to quit smoking have likely heard of the tried-and-true methods, it doesn’t hurt to remind them that quit lines, nicotine replacement therapy, prescription drugs and support groups are all examples. For more information about these cessation aids, visit https://bit.ly/2kcjq6D.