As we enter 2023, the Year of rabbit, we are already feeling festive. People will inevitably get together to eat and drink. Smoking and drinking are common ways to celebrate the Lunar New Year when reuniting with relatives and friends. However, is smoking together or offering cigarettes needed to have a nice celebration?
“Cigarette smoke has more than 7,000 chemicals and about 70 are known to cause cancer,” said Dr. Shu-Hong Zhu, Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego. “Secondhand smoke can be as harmful as smoking and it can harm pets, too. The best way to celebrate is to stay away from smoking, don’t offer cigarettes and quit smoking.”
Smokers find quitting is hard because a physical and psychological dependence to nicotine has developed over time. Physical dependence can lead to unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when smokers try to quit. The good news is that some physical withdrawal symptoms can be relieved with nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). While the nicotine patches, gum, and lozenge help with the physical part of quitting, smokers can focus on the mental (emotional) and behavioral aspects of quitting.
As much as using NRT helps people deal with physical dependence, it’s not the only tool to help someone quit smoking. Smokers will need other ways to cope with the psychological (feelings and behaviors) part of nicotine dependence. Habits, being around smokers, and stress are common triggers people have that may lead them back to smoking. Support from friends and family, group meetings, and a smoking cessation program are helpful ways to manage this part of nicotine dependence.
For best-quitting results, pairing NRT with a program that helps to change behavior can improve the chances of quitting and staying quit compared to approaches that use only one method.
ASQ quit coaches have communicated with nearly 20,000 individuals seeking help to quit smoking, understanding smokers’ challenges. In addition to the quit tobacco sessions, smokers will be provided a 2-week supply of nicotine patches for free. You can connect ASQ via one of the following:
- Call Asian Smokers’ Quitline (ASQ) and sign up online:
|Cantonese & Mandarin
- Text one of these key phrases: 戒煙/戒烟/금연/Bỏ hút thuốc to 66819 to receive Chinese, Korean or Vietnamese accordingly. (Opt out at any time by texting STOP to 66819. Your phone carrier’s message rates may apply.)
ASQ offers advising service and materials to those who would like to help someone to quit, friends and family can also contact ASQ to obtain information and advice from a friendly and informed counselor.
May the Year of the Rabbit be well, energetic and healthy.
About Asian Smokers’ Quitline (ASQ)
ASQ is funded by Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) since 2012. ASQ provides FREE evidence-based quit smoking services in Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean and Vietnamese to over 19,000 individuals in the U.S. and eligible tobacco users can receive a free two-week supply of nicotine patches. Studies have shown that smokers who enroll in ASQ services double their chances of quitting successfully.
ASQ operates Monday through Friday, 7am to 9pm Pacific Time (10am – Midnight Eastern Time). Connect with us through any of the ways below!
Phone and Online Registration
|• Cantonese & Mandarin
Text [insert specific key phrase [戒煙/戒烟/금연/Bỏ hút thuốc ] to 66819 to receive supportive messages in [insert either Chinese, Korean or Vietnamese]. *Opt out at any time by texting STOP to 66819. Your phone carrier’s message rates may apply.
To learn more about ASQ, visit www.asiansmokersquitline.org/