As most places are dropping COVID-related restrictions, everyone looks forward to spending time with family and friends during the holiday season, but it can also be stressful as people rush from place to place, but it can also be stressful as people rush from place to place. A cigarette can sound like the perfect way to de-stress, especially during a busy holiday season, but cessation advisors at the Asian Smokers’ Quitline (ASQ) have tips and encouragement for people attempting to quit or want to stay quit through the season.
“We understand that holidays can be challenging for those working on quitting smoking,” said Dr. Shu-Hong Zhu, Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego. “It’s important to prepare for the holiday triggers and get extra support to continue the quit journey.”
Here are some other general tips from cessation coaches on ways to avoid triggers and stay quit during the holidays:
- Find a quit date and mark it on the calendar.
- Avoid spicy and sugary foods, and alcohol. Holidays are often all about the eating and feasting, but avoid foods that will make you crave cigarettes even more. Eat fruit or less sugary dessert on the menu. As for alcohol, put it away, and instead, reach for a sugar-free seltzer, club soda, or apple cider.
- Spend time with non-smokers. During the holiday season, it’s a great time to expand your social circle and create a community of ex-smokers or non-smokers to help you keep busy and away from smoking.
- Having a supportive community is important on this journey. Asian Smokers’ Quitline (ASQ) is a free nationwide quitting tobacco program for Chinese-, Korean-, and Vietnamese-speakers who want to quit. Services include self-help materials, one-on-one counseling over the phone, and a free two-week starter kit of nicotine patches if eligible. You can contact us via one of the following:
- Call ASQ
- Sign up online at www.asiansmokersquitline.org
- Text one of these key phrase 戒煙/戒烟/금연/Bỏ hút thuốc to 66819 to receive Chinese, Korean or Vietnamese texts accordingly. (Opt out at any time by texting STOP to 66819. Your phone carrier’s message rates may apply.)
- Lastly, don’t give up on quitting. You can do it!
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.
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).