Healthy Living

Is it time to break the smoking habit?

Have you tried several times to quit smoking but can’t make it stick?

Kicking the habit can be difficult, especially on your own.

On Nov. 17, the American Cancer Society will recognize the Great American Smokeout, when the ACS asks everyone to encourage someone you know to use the date to make a plan to quit, or plan in advance and then quit smoking that day.

About 40 million Americans smoke cigarettes, and tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the world, according to the ACS.

But it’s worth it. Among the many benefits for quitting smoking are:

There are many health benefits to quitting smoking, and if you need help and guidance, you may be able to turn to your employer. Many companies offer smoking cessation programs for their employees through a healthcare provider.

“It’s not easy to quit smoking, and most people need a true support team to successfully quit,” said Tekeela Belk, RN, with Colonial Life. “There are several resources available to employees, often for free. Many programs offer health coaching and tracking tools and provides additional support for people trying to quit. And they can do it at a time that best fits their schedule.”

For employers, reducing the number of employees who smoke can save millions of dollars. According to an Ohio State University study, smokers cost their employers nearly $6,000 a year more than staff who don’t smoke. When the company is as big as General Electric, that adds up to tens of millions that can be spent on smoking-related illnesses.

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