Spokane Regional Health District, Multiple Partners Encourage People to Stop Smoking During Great American Smokeout, Nov. 15

Nov 14, 2018

For more information, contact Kim Papich, SRHD Public Information Officer (509) 324-1539 or kpapich@srhd.org

Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) and its partners are again joining forces to launch the next phase of Done My Way, Spokane’s popular smoking cessation campaign. In this round, they are encouraging current smokers in Spokane, especially women who are pregnant or plan on being pregnant, to commit to healthy, smoke-free lives. The timing coincides with the Great American Smokeout, Nov. 15, 2018, a day when thousands of smokers across the country join in taking an important step toward a healthier life by stopping smoking.

“I wanted to stop smoking because I found out I was pregnant,” says Heather, a Spokane mom who successfully stop smoking. “The negative effect that stood out to me the most was SIDS, but smoking while pregnant also increases your risk for miscarriages and premature birth.”

Heather’s success in quitting can be attributed to having a plan and using sunflowers seeds to keep her mouth and hands busy. She also removed herself from situations where other people were smoking.

For women who are planning to become pregnant, the best thing they can do for their baby’s health is stop smoking. If a woman is currently pregnant, it’s never too late to stop smoking.

“For moms and adults alike, you don’t have to stop smoking in one day. Start with day one. Let the Great American Smokeout be your day to start your journey toward a smoke-free life,” said Benjamin Arthurs, M.D., a pulmonologist and critical care physician with MultiCare Rockwood Pulmonary Critical Care Center, which is hosting one of 20 different quit events on Nov. 15. “We are showing our support for people who take those first steps toward making a plan to stop smoking.”

Great American Smokeout events in Spokane County will offer free quit kits and more to individuals who smoke and are ready to stop. People who smoke are encouraged to stop for a day, a week, or for good. They can use a quit kit to get started. A quit kits contains:

  • Done My Way water bottle – Individuals who are stopping smoking are encouraged to drink plenty of water to move toxins through the body.
  • Straws – People who are stopping smoking can use straws to help keep their hands and mouth busy.
  • Gum - When individuals are trying to stop and have a craving, they can chew gum instead of smoking.
  • Toothpicks – People can also use a toothpick to keep their mouth busy and ease a craving.
  • Quitline Card – When trying to stop, people can take advantage of 24-hour phone support by calling 800-QUIT-NOW.
  • 2MorrowQuit App – Information on a FREE app designed to help people overcome urges to smoke.

While maternal smoking rates have dropped (from 16.1% in 2012 to 10.7% in 2016) there is still progress to be made with helping local pregnant mothers who smoke to quit. Specific to all adults who smoke, Spokane’s rate at 18% is worse than Washington state’s where 14% of adults smoke.

Smoking cigarettes kills more Americans than alcohol, car accidents, HIV, guns, and illegal drugs combined.

Each year, approximately 20 million American smokers try to stop, representing more than half of the 37.8 million smokers in the U.S. Only about 1.4 million (7%) succeed. An even greater percentage of smokers (68%) report being interested in quitting.

Done My Way is a campaign that supports people in Spokane in their attempts to stop smoking and encourages their use of cessation methods that work best for them. Sponsored by SRHD, Community Health Association of Spokane (CHAS), Molina Health Care, Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS), and the Providence Health Care Community Benefit Grant, the campaign features compelling local stories told by real former smokers, highlighting a variety of quit methods and providing a glimpse at better lives without cigarettes. It highlights getting help through counseling and/or prescription medications, including where to get free gum and patch for those without insurance, which can double or triple people’s chances of quitting successfully.

Support is also important, which is why Done My Way offers a Resource Guide full of information on smoking cessation programs, telephone quit lines, nicotine anonymous meetings, self-help materials such as books and pamphlets, and smoking counselors or coaches.

For more information on Done My Way, including campaign resources and links to testimonial videos, visit www.donemyway.org. More information is also available on Spokane Regional Health District’s website at www.srhd.org. Become a fan of SRHD on Facebook to receive local safety and wellness tips. You can also follow us on Twitter @spokanehealth.

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