Give The Gift Of Not Using Tobacco

Stores and businesses have long used the familiar holiday slogan, “Give the gift that keeps on giving.” While stereos, watches and even baskets of fruit delivered monthly have been advertised to provide perpetual pleasure, the Tennessee Department of Health suggests a present that really does have lasting benefits:  Stopping the use of tobacco products.The three top benefits to a person who quits are these:  A former user can live longer and be healthier; his or her family can live longer and be healthier; and there will be more money available to spend or invest. All are noticeable fairly quickly when a tobacco users ends his or her addiction to nicotine.
“As a medical doctor, I know the body responds positively and almost immediately when tobacco is no longer used,” said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “It’s easier to breathe, the ability to prevent other illnesses is enhanced and the risk of respiratory illnesses, along with many cancers that can develop over time, are significantly reduced. We need to also consider the stress of paying for a tobacco addiction, which can be thousands of dollars each year. That economic impact can rob individuals and families of precious dollars and create totally unnecessary budgetary and emotional burdens.”
“December and January present substantial economic challenges for many,” said TDH Family Health and Wellness director Michael Warren, MD, MPH. “Holiday expenses, higher utility bills, tax payments and other financial obligations can combine to create stress. Reducing one cash outlay while making you and your family healthier is a way to lessen the economic anxiety some may experience. Most importantly, the health and economic benefits continue as a user stops wasting money on a nicotine addiction.”
Dreyzehner and Warren agree ending a tobacco addition can be very difficult and that professional help can be very beneficial. They recommend users call the toll-free Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine, 1-800-QUIT NOW.
“Talk with your clinician or another reputable health care professional about a cessation effort that will work for you,” Dreyzehner said. “We recommend only FDA-approved nicotine replacements or other tobacco cessation materials and would caution users to avoid untested or unregulated nicotine delivery devices, such as electronic cigarettes.”