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La Liga de Las Americas

Calling it quits for good!

By Grayce Shaw, Adelante, Inc.

It’s not easy, but people do it. According to the national health surveys, just over half of all U.S.-Americans who were ever smokers are now ex-smokers. Studies show that the median proportion of ever smokers who have quit smoking in 2004 was 52.4 percent compared to 45 percent of quit attempts in 1996.

Possible reasons for this increase in quit attempts include: the decreased acceptability of smoking, an increase in clean indoor air laws and policies, and higher taxes implemented by certain states.

Some quitters can tough it out and snuff the habit out on their own. Others need help. Although most of the former smokers preferred quitting cold turkey, studies show that only 10 percent of them have long term success.

Adelante's 2003 Don't Smoke Altar


Studies conclude that patients using a form of counseling in conjunction with pharmacotherapy treatments have the lowest relapse rate. Studies further reflect that even minimal counseling by doctors (talking to patients less than three minutes) has a notable effect. Doctors are suppose to steer smokers to one of the standard smoking cessation therapies which include sustained release bupropion (Zyban) and the various products (nicotine patches, gum, and so forth).

Presently, only the state of Oregon provides coverage through Medicaid for all recommended counseling and pharmacotherapy treatments. In 2000, 36 percent of persons on Medicaid smoked. As a result, one of the 2010 national objectives is to provide coverage in the 50 states for nicotine-dependence treatment, by Medicaid.

The role of relaxation plays a vital role to keep from relapsing. Studies by the National Cancer Institute prove that relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, and mind-workouts can be effective methods to use in de-stressing. Deep-breathing and pleasant thoughts can be helpful in a big way. Avoidance in smoking areas in public places, chewing sugarless gum, drinking healthy fluids and some light exercise can also be helpful.


Ponder these facts when the urge to relapse comes your way. Stay committed to staying tobacco free.

  • Smoking is responsible for 90% of the lung cancer deaths in the United States and is the leading cause of cancer deaths among Latinos.

  • Tobacco is the only legal product that causes death and disability when used as intended.

  • Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, causing 1 in 5 U.S. deaths.

  • Through advertising and promotion, the tobacco industry targets 1.63 million new smokers a year to compensate for those who quit or die.

  • Tobacco advertising also encourages young people to begin a lifelong addiction of smoking before they are old enough to fully understand its long-term health risk.

  • Eighty percent of smokers begin using tobacco before age 18.

  • A current study found that 34 percent of teens begin smoking as a result of tobacco company promotional activism.

  • Tobacco companies are allowed to deduct the cost of advertising and promotion from their taxes as a business expense, which saves them in excess of $1 billion a year in taxes.

  • Tobacco companies are not regulated by the FDC to put on the label what is in their product.

  • Secondhand smoke or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS)—also called involuntary smoking or passive smoking—causes about 3,000 deaths each year, from lung cancer in people who don’t smoke.

  • Although 87% of lung cancer cases are related to smoking, nonsmokers are not spared.

  • Smoking is associated with wrinkling and premature skin aging, acne, eczema, hair loss, and so forth.


If you or someone you know is trying to quit smoking or keep from relapsing call Adelante, Inc., the Latino Resource Center and ask to be enrolled in the Si Puedo! Yes I Can! program. We offer free one-on-one or group support, nicotine patches, and/or nicotine gum to help you quit for good! Its telephone number is 419-244-8440.







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