About 7.7% of Smith students are daily smokers, compared to about 5% of college women nationally.
No one needs to tell you that cigarettes are bad for you, expensive, smelly, and in many circles socially reprehensible. It might be more helpful to explain some of the things that make quitting so hard:
- Nicotine is very addictive, but more than that, the way cigarettes dose nicotine to your brain actually maximizes the addictiveness of the drug.
- Some people have a genetic proneness to addiction that makes them get addicted more quickly and have a harder time breaking established addictions. This proneness is correlated with mood and anxiety disorders, learning disabilities like ADHD, and an intense, persistent personality style.
- Smoking is a habit that fulfills emotional needs for many smokers. Maybe you smoke when you're anxious, or when you're especially stressed; maybe you smoke when you feel lonely or sad. Quitting means having to find another way of dealing with these emotions.
- Body image plays a big role in smoking and in quitting. Nicotine slightly decreases appetite, but some people fear that they'll replace cigarettes with food when they quit, which may lead to weight gain. Quitting fome some therefore demands that they deal with questions about real health versus the "appearance" of health - that is, weight.
In spite of all this, people succesfully quit and stay tobacco free for the rest of their lives!
The most effective way to quit smoking is to use as many resources as possible: use nicotine replacement products, tobacco cessation support lines and groups, psychotherapy, whatever you can. Medication plus support is more effective than either one by itself. Medication alone doubles your chances of success.
The Smith College Wellness Office wants to support students in their efforts to quit smoking. If you want to quit and you could use a little help, the Wellness Office will happily send you, via campus mail, a QuitKit containing information and other items to help making quitting just a little easier. You'll receive:
- "Yes You Can!" an 8 page booklet of information and exercises to motivate and empower you to quit.
- A CD of meditation and relaxation exercises.
- A custom-made aromatherapy lip balm with lavender and ylang-ylang, which research suggests are helpful in quitting.
- A tin of black current Rescue Pastilles, to get you through the early nicotine cravings
- And a few surprises!
The kit comes in a reusable organic cotton gauze bag, ideal for buying fruits and veggies!
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