Next week is quit week here in North Dakota.
This is an initiative to help smokers get rid of the habit of consuming tobacco products.
According to official reports, numerous tobacco-related deaths have been reported in the state during COVID-19 and organizers hope to lower those numbers.
“I don’t know what the pandemic has done to that number. Until 2020, we have recorded an average of around 1,000 deaths as a state, ”said Andrew Horn, program director for the coalition.
Tobacco-free North Dakota is here to help and during the pandemic anti-tobacco campaigners want people to know it.
“Healthy lungs are going to be your best way to fight different infections, to fight things like COVID-19 disease. One of the ways to have healthy lungs is to not use tobacco products, ”Horn said.
Experts say there is no safer alternative. Even the use of electronic cigarettes commonly known as vaping still puts your health at risk.
“It’s important to know that changing is not quitting smoking. If you switch from cigarettes to vaping products, you still get nicotine. That’s really what we’re trying to focus on with Quit Week, it’s not just vaping, but to make people understand that whatever the product, nicotine is nicotine, ”Horn said.
Tobacco use can lead to lung cancer, COPD, and other illnesses that make it difficult to breathe.
That’s why Tobacco Free North Dakota has teamed up with Resources, hoping to make change.
“We have a lot of tobacco treatment specialists all over the state. Different health providers have them; nicotine replacement therapies, the ND Quits line is one of them, ”said Horn.
And Horn adds that asking for help can only increase your chances of success.
“Having these nicotine replacement therapies, having counseling, having tobacco treatment specialists, it’s going to double or triple your success rate,” Horn said.
The commitment to go tobacco-free begins June 14.
This is the second year that Quit Week has been held here in the state.