Smoking Cessation Trust Offers Tips to Relieve Pandemic Stress
NEW ORLEANS – From the Smoking Cessation Trust:
Stress is a normal part of life, and everyone handles their stress in different ways. Some people use food to cope, some use alcohol, while others relapse and start smoking or vaping again in an attempt to quell their anxiety. During stressful times, such as the recent announcement of a national emergency to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, some people, unfortunately, may even decide to start smoking as a means of relieving anxiety from the daily onslaught of difficult news.
For those who decide that smoking is their best way to cope during this current public health crisis, the Smoking Cessation Trust would like to share some helpful tips for relieving stress that could serve as a healthier alternative. A few of these are:
- Exercise – Go for a walk. Being active creates natural chemicals that help your mood and reduce your stress.
- Reduce your caffeine intake – Caffeine makes many people jittery, so the last thing you need is the added anxiety of coffee and other caffeinated drinks, which might make you want to reach for a cigarette.
- Talk with others – No one should handle stress alone. Even if it’s via phone, FaceTime or Skype, share your feelings with those who might be able to help you stay smokefree during this challenging time.
- Do something fun! – Find a hobby or activity you enjoy doing and do it even for a few minutes when you get the urge to smoke.
- Laugh – Watch a funny video or movie to help take your mind off the news of the day. While it may seem like this is not the best time for laughter, laughter is the best medicine and always proves to be a great stress-reliever.
- Additional tips can be found here at smokefree.gov.
Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Louisiana and throughout the United States. As COVID-19 is a viral respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus that previously had not been found in people, those with an underlying condition such as lung disease, should be especially vigilant at this time. More than 35 million Americans live with a chronic lung disease like asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis—and smoking does not help.
“In countries that have experienced the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s the most vulnerable individuals that have been impacted the most and have even died from the coronavirus. As with influenza, those less likely to survive include the frail elderly and people with chronic diseases and compromised immune systems. We also know that smokers and vapers are more vulnerable to diseases that attack the lungs—such as coronavirus,” said Juan J. Gershanik, MD, president, Orleans Parish Medical Society (OPMS) and medical director of West Jefferson Medical Center’s NICU.
“We are encouraging everyone in our community to diligently follow the guidelines and best practices from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),” said Mike Rogers, CEO of the Smoking Cessation Trust Management Services. “It is our hope that not only smokers, but all Louisianans who are bravely facing this public health crisis, will take this opportunity to protect their health and the health of their families, friends and everyone in our community.”
For more information or to register for the Trust, visit: Smoking Cessation Trust at www.smokefreela.org; local: 504-529-5665 or toll free at: 855-259-6346.