Letter to the Editor

Help Your Loved One Quit Vaping, Smoking, or Other Tobacco Products

Dear Editor,

February is American Heart Month, so before you think about what kind of flowers or type of candy to buy for Valentine’s Day, choose the Valentine that is better than any bouquet of expensive red roses or box of chocolates: show your love by supporting your sweetheart in quitting vaping, smoking or other tobacco products.

 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking is a leading cause of heart disease; it can lead to the narrowing of blood vessels and high blood pressure. Quitting smoking greatly improves heart health. Vaping is still fairly new and less is known about its effect on the heart.  However, the American Heart Association reports that two new studies find that vaping may be just as dangerous by increasing heart disease risk factors. 

Give Valentine’s Day new meaning by helping your loved one quit vaping, smoking or other tobacco products. If your sweetheart is thinking about quitting, here are some ways your gift of support can encourage them along their journey:

1. Let your sweetie know you’ll be their quit partner for as long as it takes – a person usually tries to quit many times before they quit for good.

2. Remind them that going cold turkey is not always the best option. Recommend that they talk to their doctor about medications to help them quit. People who use quit medicine are twice as likely to quit for good!

3. Help them celebr te the small victories – like the first 24 hours of being nicotine-free, the first week, or the first time they make it through a stressful event without using tobacco or nicotine products.

4. Bring them little treats like sugar-free gum, mints, and healthy snacks to help keep their hands and mouth busy. 

5. Distract them from cravings and help them relieve stress – take a walk with them, send them a reassuring text, or just run an errand together.

If it seems like your loved one is in a bad mood, try not to take it personally – nicotine is a very addictive drug! Quitting is one of the most difficult things they will ever do.

Lastly, it is common for those attempting to quit to slip up and vape or have a cigarette. If this happens to your loved one, don’t be discouraged or critical. Help them think about what they learned from that quit attempt and remind them of all of their good reasons for quitting. Most importantly, let them know you’re there for them when they’re ready to try again.

To learn more about how you can help your loved one quit vaping, smoking or using other tobacco products, visit KeepTryingMA.org   Vapers, smokers and other tobacco product users can call 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669) for free coaching through phone, e-chat, and text 24 hours each day, seven days a week or they can enroll online through KeepTryingMA.org. 

This Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month, give the perfect gift; show your beloved just how much you care with the gift of support and, ultimately, heart health.

Edgar Duran Elmudesi

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