Did you know that smoking is a leading cause of heart disease? Statistics show that smokers are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease than non-smokers. The chemicals in tobacco can damage blood vessels and reduce blood flow, leading to serious heart issues. But don’t worry because quitting smoking significantly reduces these risks, and your heart will thank you for it!
Thank you Lovelace Health System for sponsoring this Guide to Quit Smoking for Moms and Teens.
February is American Heart Month, an important time to raise awareness about cardiovascular health. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States and can affect women at any age. But there’s good news: following a heart-healthy lifestyle can reduce your risk for heart disease. Lovelace wants to help you make heart health part of your daily routine. Below are several ways you and your loved ones can be proactive in maintaining a healthy heart:
- Incorporate healthy food choices, including limiting alcohol intake
- Prioritize movement and aim for 30 minutes of physical activity per day
- Manage your stress levels
- Quit smoking
- Stay up-to-date on your health screenings
- Know your blood pressure and check it regularly
Talk to your health care team about checking your cholesterol, triglycerides, and being tested for diabetes.
It is never too early to start having conversations about your heart health. Visit hearthospitalnm.com or call 505.841.1000 for more information.
Lovelace Medical Group wants to help you imagine a smoke-free future through its collaborative educational smoking cessation class. Get more details below.
Free Resources in New Mexico
The good news is that there are numerous free resources available in New Mexico to assist you on your journey to quit smoking or to support your teen.
New Mexico Quitline
(1-800-QUIT-NOW): This helpline offers free, confidential counseling and support for those looking to quit smoking. The trained specialists can provide personalized strategies and encouragement.
- This hotline also provides tobacco users access to free medications, including patches, gum, and lozenges, along with free counseling and text messaging support through the statewide toll-free quit lines 1-800-QUIT-NOW or online. These resources enhance your efforts, providing comprehensive assistance tailored to your unique needs.
- For Spanish speakers, there is a dedicated Spanish-language quit line at 1-855-DEJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569) and online services at dejeloyanm.com
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline
This hotline provides confidential and free help. You can reach them at 1-800-662-4357. They offer assistance in finding substance use treatment and provide valuable information.
Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Programs
The New Mexico Department of Health offers resources and programs to help both adults and teens quit tobacco. Visit their website for useful information and local support groups.
SmokefreeTXT: Sign up for this free text messaging program that provides support, tips, and encouragement tailored to your quit date. Text QUIT to 47848 to get started.
Local Support Groups: Check with community health centers, Nicotine Anonymous, or your healthcare provider for information on local support groups. Connecting with others who are on the same journey can be incredibly beneficial.
Live Vape Free: A national text-based program specifically designed for teens (ages 13 to 17) seeking to quit e-cigarettes. Live Vape Free provides one-on-one coaching, live text support, and interactive content to help teens quit vaping by educating teens on the keys to quitting nicotine, boosting overall confidence among teens looking to quit, and motivating and inspiring users to learn more about the implications of their long-term health by getting and staying nicotine-free. Text VAPEFREE to 873373 to get started.
NM Medicaid Support
Additionally, it’s worth noting that the New Mexico Medicaid plan covers all seven cessation medications, providing an extra layer of support for those seeking to quit. You can explore these options with your healthcare provider to find the best fit for your journey.
Quit Smoking Smartphone App
For those who prefer a digital approach, consider downloading the QUITNOW Smartphone App, now available on The App Store or Google Play. This free app provides smartphone users with a downloadable tool that supports them throughout the quit process. It helps users set a quit date, identify reasons for quitting, and conquer cravings once they’ve quit. It’s a handy and accessible resource right at your fingertips.
Teen Tobacco Use in New Mexico
It’s essential to address teen tobacco use, which includes not just traditional smoking but also vaping. In New Mexico, we’ve seen an increase in teen vaping (according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 1 in 3 New Mexico high school youth are currently vaping). It’s crucial to educate our teens about the risks involved and encourage them to make healthier choices. As a parent or guardian, your support plays a vital role in helping your teen navigate through these pressures.
Tips for Helping Teens Quit
Now, let’s delve into some valuable tips for helping teens quit, inspired by the information on the American Lung Association’s page on “Kids and Smoking”:
- Open Communication: Create an open and non-judgmental space for your teen to discuss their experiences and feelings about smoking. Understanding their perspective is crucial in offering the right support.
- Set a Good Example: Lead by example. If you’re trying to quit, show your teen that it’s possible. If you don’t smoke, continue reinforcing the importance of a smoke-free lifestyle.
- Educate About the Risks: Share information about the health risks associated with smoking, including the impact on lung health, overall well-being, and even the addictive nature of nicotine.
- Encourage Healthy Coping Mechanisms: Help your teen explore and adopt healthy ways to cope with stress and peer pressure. This could include engaging in sports, art, or other hobbies that provide a positive outlet.
- Involve Supportive Adults: Enlist the help of other supportive adults in your teen’s life, such as teachers, coaches, or family friends. A united front can make a significant impact.
Quitting smoking is a brave and commendable choice. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help, and there’s a wealth of support available. Whether you’re on this journey for yourself or guiding your teen, take it one day at a time. You’ve got this, and we’re here to cheer you on every step of the way. Good luck!