World No Tobacco Day: The Day to be Tobacco Free
By: Britney Henry
TRICARE Management Activity
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease-related illness and death in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It can lead to breathing problems, pregnancy complications, coronary heart disease and cancer. During World No Tobacco Day on May 31 the World Health Organization (WHO) will highlight the health risks associated with tobacco use in order to educate smokers and encourage them to quit.
Tobacco kills nearly 6 million people worldwide each year, according to WHO. More than 600,000 of these deaths are results of second hand smoke. If trends continue, tobacco will kill up to 8 million people by 2030.
The 2008 Health Related Behaviors Survey found that among active duty service members 32 percent of male and 21 percent of female service members smoke. Beneficiaries who want to quit smoking or chewing tobacco should make May 31 their personal quit day. On average, it takes seven to 11 attempts to quit smoking. Tobacco cessation programs increase success rates. Research shows individuals are twice as likely to quit tobacco if he or she uses a tobacco cessation program that includes interactive support.
To help those who want to quit tobacco, there is TRICARE’s Quit Tobacco - Make Everyone Proud program. The program’s website, www.ucanquit2.org, offers tools to assist beneficiaries in their journey to become tobacco free. Tools include quit plans, games, savings calendars and 24/7 live support.
Train2Quit, an interactive tool, teaches beneficiaries how to beat cravings, overcome weight gain and how nicotine replacement therapy is an option. It’s free for users and offers confidentiality and moves at the user’s pace. Be sure to visit www.ucanquit2.org to take advantage of the program’s many resources.
Beneficiaries who want to quit or who’ve relapsed can speak with a trained smoking cessation coach 24 hours a day, seven a week. Each user has the opportunity to create a customized quit plan specific to their needs. Telephone support is available in each TRICARE region in the United States by calling:
- North Region: (866) 459-8766
- South Region: (877) 414-9949
- West Region: (888) 713-4597
World No Tobacco Day is a day for smokers to start or continue their journey in hopes of becoming tobacco free. Join other beneficiaries around the world on May 31 to start a tobacco cessation journey. For more information on World No Tobacco Day, visit www.who.int/tobacco/wntd/.
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The TRICARE Management Activity administers the worldwide health care plan for 9.6 million eligible beneficiaries of the uniformed services, retirees and their families.