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Mary Ella’s Weekly Message
June 25, 2012
July 4th marks this country's Independence Day—the day we celebrate our freedom. What will this day hold for you? Is this the first Fourth of July in years that you are smokefree? Make this day extra special for yourself with a reward that will be meaningful to you.
If you will be attending or throwing a party or cookout, what plan have you made in case someone offers you a cigarette? Being prepared for the times when you might be the most tempted and vulnerable will help you to stay strong in your commitment to remain smokefree. When you recorded your strongest urges using the Pack Track exercise, you determined whether you were smoking the most when you were happy or in social settings, bored or when you might have been stressed. Sometimes holidays can bring their own set of stressors so be ready with a plan and ways to cope when you feel particularly stressed out, or when the social atmosphere triggers a craving.
Hundreds of thousands of people in the United States are disproportionately affected by lung disease; they are the most vulnerable and yet they are among the millions targeted by the tobacco industry to keep smoking. June is LGBT Pride Month in the U.S., and the American Lung Association's report, Tobacco Use in the LGBT Community, is part of our ongoing Disparities in Lung Health Series. The report cites that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals are much more likely to use tobacco than the general population, with some studies estimating smoking rates as much as double the national average. It explains how the tobacco industry was one of the first to develop marketing materials to specifically target this community. The American Lung Association is actively working to educate the LGBT community about these findings and how to quit smoking. It is our goal that all people in all communities will have equal access to health information and resources to become smokefree.
As the fireworks are exploding in the sky on the 4th, sit back and pat yourself on the back for the hard work you are doing to become or stay smokefree! Pretend that those lights in the sky are just for you—to celebrate your freedom from nicotine addiction!
If you are quitting this week, keep these tips in mind:
- Allow yourself time to relax with the Deep Breathing and Muscle Relaxation exercise
- Make a plan to stay smokefree during any holiday parties.
- Reward yourself for staying smokefree.
- Contact your buddy for extra support, if you need it.
- Drink lots of water (eight 8-oz. glasses a day) to stay hydrated.
I’ll see you on the Message Boards! :-) Mary Ella
Don’t forget: If you're in the Premium program and want help fast on the Message Boards, put "HELP NOW" in the subject line of your post. If you're looking to offer help, watch for those, "HELP NOW" posts and alert your other FFS Online buddies to offer some assistance as well.