Because tobacco products cause 80% to 90% of lung cancer and 34.1 million Americans still smoke daily, End Lung Cancer Now seeks to eliminate tobacco use in Indiana. Strategies for advocates to eliminate tobacco use include:
- Embedding advocates in prevention efforts at the youth level.
- Working within existing organizations.
- Working with the IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center on tobacco reduction programs.
It takes a smoker an average of 30 quit attempts before they succeed. Quitting is hard, but the right resources and support can make the journey easier.
Patients at the IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center have access to tobacco treatment specialists who work with individuals to develop a personalized treatment plan with evidence-based interventions.
Tobacco dependence is a complex issue involving a physical addiction to nicotine and a behavioral component, according to Deborah Hudson Buckles is program director of the cancer center’s Tobacco Treatment Program.
“Tobacco is as addictive as cocaine and heroin,” Buckles said. “Our culture thinks that it’s just a bad habit and quitting is as easy as slapping on a patch, but we know it’s not that easy and people need professional help.”
The best way to quit tobacco is a combination of medications and behavioral counseling or support. Buckles says many people need help understanding how to properly use medications for tobacco recovery like gum, lozenges and patches. A doctor or pharmacist can also prescribe other medications.
“We know that medication alone is helpful, and it does help a lot of people; we also know that behavioral counseling is helpful alone,” Buckles said. “But when you combine the two, you get significantly better outcomes.”
The Indiana Tobacco Quitline is a free resource available to all Hoosiers by calling 1-800-Quit-Now. This program is available in more than 170 different languages and provides professional help for all tobacco products. Available services include one-on-one calls with a quit coach, online support from a web coach, a text to quit program and access to nicotine replacement therapy products.
Learn more from Quit Now Indiana.
Buckles discusses evidence-based tobacco treatment options during this Simon Says Expert Series event: