Accessible Search Form           Advanced Search

Session 10 - Take Control of Your Health: Enjoy Living Smoke Free

Objectives

By the end of this session, group members will learn:

  • How cigarette smoking harms smokers
  • How secondhand smoke harms people who are near smokers
  • Tips that can help smokers who want to quit
  • Ways to ask people not to smoke around you

Materials and Supplies

To conduct this session, you will need:

  • "With Every Heartbeat Is Life" manual and picture cards
  • Blackboard and chalk or several large pieces of paper, markers, and tape

Handouts

Give group members these handouts during the session:

* Prepare this list before the session. You may find information at your local health department, hospital, or clinic.

Note: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has created a quit-smoking, self-help program for African Americans. The publication is available for free download at
www.cdc.gov/tobacco/quit_smoking/how_to_quit/pathways/.

Session Outline

Introducing the Session

  1. Welcome
  2. Review of Last Week's Session
  3. About This Session

Conducting the Session

  1. Facts About Smoking
  2. Smoking Harms Infants and Children
  3. Youth and Smoking
  4. Smoking and Your Wallet
  5. Secondhand Smoke
    1. Secondhand Smoke Can Harm You and Those Around You
    2. Secondhand Smoke Role-Playing Activity
  6. Quitting Smoking

Review of Today's Key Points

Weekly Pledge

Closing


Introducing the Session

  1. Welcome
    • Welcome group members to the session.
  2. Review of Last Week's Session
    • Say:
      At the last session, we talked about ways to save money on our food bills. Who can name some of them?
    • Note: Allow 3 to 5 minutes for group members to respond. Write their ideas on the blackboard or on a large piece of paper taped to the wall.
    • Add these ideas if they are not mentioned:
      • Plan weekly meals, and shop with a list.
      • Check the food sale ads.
      • Use fewer packaged foods.
      • Buy only the amount of food your family needs.
      • Try not to shop when you are hungry.
      • Check your receipt for errors at the register.
      • Clip coupons for products you use.
      • Shop at convenience stores less often.
      • Use store brands as often as possible.
    • Ask:
      How are you doing with your pledge to eat in a heart healthy way even when time or money is tight? What went well? Did you have problems? If so, what did you do to solve them?
    • Note: Allow 5 to 8 minutes for group members to respond.
    • Ask:
      Has anyone completed the family health history?
    • Note: Give a prize to group members who have completed the family health history.
    • Ask:
      Does anyone want to share what you have learned about your family health history?
    • Note: Allow 5 to 8 minutes for group members to respond.
  3. About This Session
    • Say:
      Civil rights and labor activist A. Philip Randolph said, "Freedom is never given; it is won."
    • Ask:
      What does this quote mean to you?
    • Note: Allow 2 to 3 minutes for group members to respond.
    • Say:
      This session is about the importance of not starting to smoke and quitting smoking. During this session, you will learn:
      • How cigarette smoking harms smokers
      • How secondhand smoke can harm you and those around you
      • Ways to ask people not to smoke around you
      • Tips to stop smoking (for you and others)
    • Ask:
      • How many of you smoke?
      • How many of you live with a smoker?
      • How many of you would like to live smoke free?
    • Say:
      Tobacco is used in a variety of ways—cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and chewing tobacco. This session focuses on cigarette smoking because it's the most common use of tobacco.
      Note: Other names for cigarettes include "smokers," "cigs," and "butts."

Conducting the Session

  1. Facts About Smoking
    • Say:
      There are many reasons why you should quit smoking or not start smoking. Let's go over these reasons.
      • In the United States, about 440,000 people die each year from diseases related to smoking. This is more than 1,200 people each day. Smoking causes about one in every five deaths.
      • Health care costs due to smoking are about $75 billion each year in the United States.
      • More African Americans die from smoking-related diseases than from car accidents, murders, AIDS, and drug and alcohol abuse combined.
      • About one in every four African American men smokes. About one in five African American women smokes.
      • Smokers use tobacco regularly because they become addicted to nicotine, which is a powerful drug. Nicotine is found in all tobacco products. Most cigarettes contain 10 milligrams or more of nicotine. Through inhaling smoke, the average smoker takes in 1 to 2 milligrams of nicotine per cigarette.
      • Smoking can harm those around you! Cigarette smoking puts the health of your family, children, and friends at risk.
    • Show picture card 10.1.
    • Say:
      Today, we are going to talk about what can happen when you smoke. Smoking can cause heart attack, stroke, and cancer. It can also cause asthma attacks and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Other unpleasant effects include yellow stains on teeth and fingers, bad breath, gum disease, early wrinkling of the skin, and decreased sense of smell and taste.
    • Give group members the "Smoking Harms You" handout, and review the information.
    • Note: Ask for volunteers to read the handout aloud. Keep the picture card on display while you review this handout.
    • Say:
      Let's take a moment to talk briefly about menthol cigarettes.
    • Ask:
      Did you know that three out of four African American smokers buy menthol cigarettes? Can you think of reasons why some people choose menthol cigarettes over regular cigarettes?
    • Note: Allow 2 to 3 minutes for group members to respond.
    • Add the following answers if they are not mentioned:
      • To some, menthol cigarettes taste better.
      • Some believe menthol cigarettes feel cooler when you inhale.
      • Menthol cigarettes may make the smoke feel less harsh to the throat.
      • Some people believe that smoking menthol cigarettes is safer than smoking other types of cigarettes.
    • Say:
      The fact is that menthol cigarettes are as dangerous for your health as all other cigarettes. They still have just as many harmful chemicals as regular cigarettes.
    • Say:
      In fact, menthol cigarettes have extra chemicals that give them a cool, minty taste and numbing effect. The extra chemicals in menthol cigarettes also seem to make it easier for smokers to inhale more smoke and to hold it longer in the lungs. Smoking this way may allow more of the harmful chemicals in cigarettes to enter the body.
  2. Smoking Harms Infants and Children
    • Show picture card 10.2.
    • Ask:
      Do you think that pregnant women should smoke?
    • Note: Allow a moment for group members to respond.
    • Say:
      Pregnant women should not smoke because it will affect their babies' health and well-being. They also should stay away from others who smoke because of the harm that secondhand smoke causes.
    • Say:
      Let's go over some problems that can happen if pregnant women smoke.
    • Give group members the "Smoking Harms Infants and Children" handout.
    • Note:Ask for volunteers to read the handout aloud, or you can cut out the facts, following the dotted lines on the handout, and put them in a box. Let group members draw slips of paper and read the facts aloud. Keep picture card 10.2 on display while you review the handout.
  3. Youth and Smoking
    Note: Review the "More Information" box about tobacco companies' advertisement practices.
  • Show picture card 10.3.
  • Ask:
    Why do you think many people begin smoking as teenagers?
  • Note: Review the picture card to show the reasons that teens smoke.
  • Say:
    These are the reasons many people begin smoking as teenagers:
    • Teens want to be like their friends.
    • Young people smoke to try to look older.
    • Some teens want to be like celebrities who smoke in movies or on television.
    • Some teens are influenced by advertisements that make smoking look "cool" or glamorous.
    • Some teens may want to be like their parents or other family members who smoke.
    • Some teens will smoke just to do something their parents don't want them to do.
    • Young people downplay the harm smoking can do, or they think they will not be harmed.
    • Teens may like the jackets, hats, and other prizes tobacco companies offer.
  • Say:
    Let's look at some of the facts about young people and smoking, especially African American youth.
    • Each day about 2,000 young people under age 18 become regular smokers. That's nearly 750,000 teens per year. If this continues, more than 6 million young people who are regular smokers could die from a tobacco-related disease.
    • African American teens start off with lower rates of smoking than other racial and ethnic groups. But by the age of 18 to 24 years, 40 percent of African Americans have become regular smokers. By adulthood, smoking rates among African Americans are similar to those of other groups.
    • Young people who use tobacco may find it hard to play sports. Smoking causes shortness of breath and dizziness. Chewing tobacco causes dehydration.
    • Use of spit tobacco can cause cracked lips, white spots, sores, and bleeding in the mouth.
    • People who start smoking at a young age are likely to smoke all their lives.
    • The longer a person smokes, the more likely he or she will develop the problems caused by smoking.
    • Young people who smoke cigarettes are also more likely to try other drugs, especially marijuana.
    • It is illegal in all states to sell cigarettes and other tobacco products to persons under age 18.
  • Say:
    Let your children know that most teens, especially African American teens, do not smoke. Tell your children that most teens who do smoke say they wish they had never started.
  • Say:
    If you smoke, set an example for your family by quitting. Be honest. Admit that you're having trouble kicking the habit. Let young people know that it is best not to start smoking, rather than trying to quit later. Try not to smoke in front of your children. Never ask your children to bring you cigarettes or to light a cigarette. Asking them to do those things can send the message that smoking is okay for them to do.
  • Smoking and Your Wallet
    • Say:
      Smoking costs a lot in other ways. Let's look at some things a smoker could buy with the money that he or she spends on cigarettes.
    • Give out and review the "Costs of Smoking" handout.
  • Secondhand Smoke
    1. Secondhand Smoke Can Harm You and Those Around You
      • Ask:
        What have you heard about secondhand smoke?
      • Note: Allow 3 to 5 minutes for group members to respond.
      • Say:
        Secondhand smoke is the smoke that you breathe in from someone else's cigarette or cigar. Even nonsmokers can be harmed if they are near secondhand smoke.
      • Say:
        Let's take a look at some facts about secondhand smoke.
        • Secondhand smoke contains poisons, such as arsenic, cyanide, ammonia, and formaldehyde.
        • Breathing secondhand smoke may cause eye irritation, nose and throat discomfort, headaches, and coughing.
        • Secondhand smoke causes nearly 1 in 10 smoking-related deaths.
        • Each year, about 3,000 nonsmokers die of lung cancer caused by secondhand smoke.
        • Infants and children who live with someone who smokes are twice as likely to have respiratory illness, bronchitis, and pneumonia as are children who do not live with someone who smokes.
        • Secondhand smoke can bring on an asthma attack. This danger is especially common in African American communities. African American children are more likely than white children to have asthma, but less likely to have it under control.
    2. Secondhand Smoke Role-Playing Activity
      • Say:
        Let's try role-playing. Some people have a hard time telling smokers not to smoke around them or their children. This activity will let you practice what to say when someone smokes around you or your family.
      • Divide group members into groups of three. Give each group a scene from the "Role Play: Someone Is Smoking. What Can You Do?" handouts to act out. Ask them to act out a solution to the problem, too.
      • Note: Read the scenes one at a time, or hand out copies to each group. Allow about 5 minutes for each group to role play a solution.

      Scenes for Role-Playing Activity: Someone Is Smoking. What Can You Do?

      • Scene 1
        You have hired a babysitter to take care of your young child while you are at work. One evening, you walk into your home and find the babysitter sitting at the kitchen table and smoking a cigarette while watching your child play. The babysitter is highly qualified, and you have been very happy with her, but you do not want her to smoke when she is watching your child. What do you do?
      • Solutions:
        • Ask the babysitter not to smoke while caring for your child.
        • Tell the babysitter that your home is smoke free and that secondhand smoke is a major health risk for your child.
        • Find another babysitter.
      • Scene 2
        You and your family go to a friend's house to celebrate her son's birthday. There are many adults and children inside the house. A few of the guests are smoking, which is making the house very smoky. The smoke is hurting your eyes and making it difficult for your daughter to breathe. You promised your friend you would help her, so you don't want to leave. What can you do?
      • Solutions:
        • Tell your friend ahead of time that you can help her if she has a smoke-free party.
        • Help your friend make a "Thank You for Not Smoking" sign.
        • Tell your friend that you are very sorry, but you cannot help her during the party. You must leave because the smoke is affecting the health of you and your child.
      • Scene 3
        You go out to eat with a friend to celebrate a special occasion. You ask to sit in the nonsmoking section of the restaurant. The nonsmoking area is in a corner of the restaurant. There are no walls separating the smoking section from the nonsmoking section. As you order your meal, four people sit down a few tables away from you in the smoking section. They begin to smoke cigarettes. After a minute or two, you begin to smell their smoke at your table. You tell the waiter the smoke is not good for your health. He says he can't ask them to stop because they are in the smoking section. What do you do?
      • Solutions:
        • Ask to be moved to another table farther away from the smokers.
        • Ask the waiter to wrap up your food, and then leave the restaurant.
        • Tell the manager that you cannot be around smokers.
      • Ask group members if they have any comments or questions about the role play.
      • Say:
        One thing we all can do in our homes to prevent these situations is to post a sign that says "Thank You for Not Smoking" or "This Is a Smoke-Free Home." This lets guests know your home is smoke free.
      • Give group members the "Smoke-Free Family Sign" handout.
      • Say:
        This sign can be used on a tabletop or taped to the wall or refrigerator.
  • Quitting Smoking
    • Say:
      Quitting smoking is not easy, but it can be done. To quit smoking for good, some smokers need help to overcome their urges to smoke. They also need encouragement and support to help them break the habit.
    • Say:
      Have any of you quit smoking? Or do you know anyone who has quit smoking? What are the benefits of quitting smoking?
    • Note:Allow 3 to 5 minutes for group members to respond. Write their answers on the blackboard or on a large piece of paper taped to the wall.
    • Add the following answers if they are not mentioned:
      • You will live longer and have better health.
      • You will lower your chance of having a heart attack, stroke, cancer, and respiratory problems.
      • If you are pregnant, quitting smoking will improve your chances of having a healthy baby.
      • The people you live with or spend a lot of time with, especially children and older adults, will be healthier.
      • You will have extra money to spend on things other than cigarettes.
      • You will be free of morning cough.
      • Your clothes, hair, and breath will smell better, and your home and car will, too.
    • Say:
      To quit smoking, you need to know your personal feelings or situations that trigger your urge to smoke. This will help you to overcome the urge to smoke.
    • Ask:
      What are some of these feelings or situations that bring on the urge to smoke?
    • Note: Allow 3 to 5 minutes for group members to respond.
    • Write their answers on the blackboard or on a large piece of paper taped to the wall.
    • Add the following answers if they are not mentioned:
      • Drinking coffee
      • Drinking alcohol
      • Talking on the phone
      • Watching someone else smoke
      • Attending social and community gatherings
      • Feeling stressed
      • Feeling bored
    • Say:
      Let's review what a smoker can do to overcome the urges to smoke.
      1. Find ways to relax. If stress causes you to want to smoke, try deep breathing to calm you. Let's try it now. Take a slow, deep breath in, hold it and count to five, and release it.
      2. Keep busy. Do activities that require the use of your hands, such as sewing, arts and crafts, or a project around the house.
      3. Keep moving. Try going for a walk, cleaning the house or doing yard work, doing stretching exercises, or practicing your favorite dance steps.
      4. Know what to expect. The nicotine that is in cigarettes and other tobacco products causes addiction. When smokers try to cut back or quit, the lack of nicotine in their bodies makes them have withdrawal symptoms. You may experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are:
        • Headaches
        • Feeling irritable
        • Feeling tired
        • Having trouble concentrating
    • Say:
      Although withdrawal symptoms are not pleasant, it is important to know that they are signs that your body is recovering from smoking. Most symptoms will go away in 2 to 4 weeks.
    • Give group members the "Tips To Quit Smoking" handout. Ask for volunteers to read the tips aloud.
    • Say:
      These tips have helped other people. If you are a smoker, they can help you quit. If you're not a smoker, share the tips with a family member or friend who would like to quit. Studies have shown that these steps will help you quit smoking for good.
    • Say:
      Nagging people about their smoking can make them become angry or defensive. Try these positive ways to help family members or friends who want to quit:
      • Say things such as "Quitting is hard, but I know you can do it."
      • Help them stay away from smokers in the beginning, when it is the hardest to quit.
      • Suggest other activities that will help them beat the urge to smoke. For example, ask them to take a walk with you.
    • Say:
      It's important to choose a quit day as soon as possible, preferably within 2 weeks after deciding to quit smoking. Choosing a special day, such as a birthday or holiday, can motivate you to take this important first step to being smoke free.
    • Ask:
      Do you have any questions about the information we covered today?
    • Note: Allow a moment for group members to respond.
    • Give group members the "Help Your Heart—Don't Smoke" and the "Break Free From the Smoking Habit" handouts.
    • Ask for volunteers to read the suggestions aloud.

    More Information

    • Tobacco companies spend billions of dollars advertising their products to get people to smoke. They do this through advertising in magazines, on billboards, and on posters in stores.
    • Tobacco ads usually show happy, attractive people enjoying life while they smoke cigarettes. Many individuals want to be like those people, so they start smoking.
    • Tobacco companies also advertise their products by supporting special sporting events such as tennis tournaments and car racing events. They go to dances, festivals, and other community events to promote their products by giving away free merchandise and cigarettes.
    • Tobacco companies pay movie companies to have actors smoke on screen. This allows them to get around the law that bans cigarette advertising on television or in movie theaters.
    • Tobacco companies attract new smokers to make up for the thousands of people who die each day of diseases related to cigarette smoking. They target young people because young smokers are likely to be lifelong smokers. Teenage smokers are important for the tobacco companies because teens will continue to buy cigarettes for many years.
    • The advertising programs from tobacco companies influence young people. The number of youth who began smoking increased when tobacco companies introduced cartoon-like characters to sell cigarettes. Tobacco companies also give away gifts that appeal to youth to get them to smoke a certain brand.

    Review of Today's Key Points

    • Say:
      Let's review what we learned today.
    • When people smoke, which diseases are they likely to develop?
      • Smoking contributes to heart disease, cancer, stroke, and respiratory diseases (such as asthma and COPD—emphysema and chronic bronchitis).
    • Should a pregnant woman smoke?
      • Pregnant women should not smoke. Smoking reduces the oxygen the baby receives, contributes to lower birth weight, and increases the chance of a baby being born dead.
    • What is secondhand smoke?
      • Secondhand smoke is smoke that you breathe in from someone else's cigarette. It is filled with harmful chemicals.
    • What can you do if someone is smoking around you, and you don't like it?
      • Ask the person not to smoke inside, or leave the area yourself. Post a sign in your home that says "Thank You for Not Smoking" or "This Is a Smoke-Free Home."
    • What should you know about menthol cigarettes?
      • Menthol cigarettes are not safer than other types of cigarettes. No matter what kind or brand of cigarette you smoke, quitting smoking will be one of the best things that you can do for your health.
    • Why is it important not to smoke in front of the children you care for?
      • Secondhand smoke is harmful to the health of children and can increase asthma. Children who are around smokers are more likely to smoke.

    Weekly Pledge

    • Say:
      You have learned a lot today about living smoke free. Now let's think about how you can apply what you have learned. Please think of one change you can make in your everyday life to quit smoking or to avoid secondhand smoke. This will be your pledge for the week.
    • Say:
      Be specific about what you plan to do, how you plan to do it, and when you will start. Let's take a look at some examples:
      • If I smoke, I will choose a quit day within the next 2 weeks and quit smoking on that day.
      • I will ask my children to make a sign to let people know that our home is smoke free.
    • Note: Allow 5 minutes for group members to think of a pledge. Tell group members to write their pledges on the "Break Free From the Smoking Habit" handout.
    • Ask:
      Would anyone like to share his or her pledge with the group?
    • Note: Write down pledge ideas on the blackboard or on a large piece of paper taped to the wall.
    • (Optional) Say:
      Keeping a personal value in mind can help you quit smoking for good. Remember that a personal value is a quality that you consider important.
      Today's value is peace. When you feel at peace with your life, you can overcome the fears that may try to prevent you from breaking the smoking habit. Peace helps you to trust in yourself and remain optimistic in spite of the problems you may face. Quitting smoking is hard, but you can win if you believe that you can. Remember today's quote, "Freedom is never given; it is won."
    • Ask:
      How could you use peace or another value to help you keep your pledge?
    • Note: Allow 3 minutes for group members to share their thoughts.
    • Say:
      We will discuss the results of your pledges next week. Don't forget to work on your pledges to be more physically active; to cut back on salt, sodium, saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol; to reach and keep a healthy weight; to prevent or control diabetes; to make heart healthy eating a part of your family life; and to eat in a heart healthy way, even when you are rushing or have a tight budget.

    Closing

    • Say:
      Thank you for coming today. What did you think of today's session?
    • Note: Allow a moment for group members to respond.
    • Say:
      I am looking forward to seeing you next week. The next session will be a review and graduation celebration. Please continue to work on your family health history.
    • Ask group members if they want a potluck dinner at the final session. If so, ask for volunteers to bring heart healthy dishes. Don't forget nonfood items, such as paper plates, cups, and plastic forks and spoons.
    • Note: Think about today's session. What worked and what didn't work? Have you made any changes in your own life that were covered in today's session?

    Handouts

    Smoking Harms You

    Smoking can cause:

    • Heart attack and stroke
      • Cigarette smokers are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease than are nonsmokers.
      • Smoking doubles your chances for having a stroke.
      • One year after a person stops smoking, the risk of having a heart attack or stroke will drop by more than half.
    • Cancer
      • Smoking increases your risk of developing cancers of the bladder, kidney, larynx (voice box), lung, pancreas, stomach, and uterus.
      • Smoking causes about 80 to 90 percent of lung cancer.
      • The cancer death rate for men who smoke cigarettes is more than double that of nonsmokers.
      • Men who smoke are 22 times more likely to develop lung cancer than men who have never smoked.
      • Women who smoke are 12 times more likely to develop lung cancer than women who have never smoked.

    Smoking and secondhand smoke can cause:

    • Serious respiratory diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)—emphysema and chronic bronchitis
    • More colds, sore throats, and respiratory infections
    • Asthma attacks

    Unpleasant effects include:

    • Yellow stains on teeth and fingers
    • Bad breath
    • Gum disease
    • Early wrinkling of the skin
    • Decreased sense of smell and taste

    Smoking Harms Infants and Children

    Each time a pregnant woman smokes, her baby's heart rate increases.

    When a pregnant woman smokes, her baby gets less oxygen.

    The birth weight of babies born to smokers is lower than the birth weight of babies born to nonsmokers.

    Smoking during pregnancy increases the chance of the baby being born dead.

    Babies whose mothers smoke have a greater risk of dying from SIDS (sudden infantdeath syndrome).

    Harmful chemicals from smoking pass through the placenta and directly into the baby's blood.

    If the mother continues to smoke after the baby is born, the baby is more likely to get chest colds, ear infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, and asthma.

    Babies who are exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to cry, sneeze, and cough than are babies who are not.

    Children who grow up in a home with smokers are more likely to become smokers.

    Costs of Smoking

    Smoking one $5 pack of cigarettes a day for . . .

    1 Week = $35 = Movie tickets for the family

    1 Month = $150 = CD player

    6 Months = $900 = Entertainment system

    1 Year = $1,825 = Living room furniture set

    2 Years = $3,650 = Dream vacation for the family

    3 Years = $5,475 = Car down payment

    4 Years = $7,300 = House down payment

    Role Play: Someone Is Smoking. What Can You Do?

    • Scene 1
      You have hired a babysitter to take care of your young child while you are at work. One evening, you walk into your home and find the babysitter sitting at the kitchen table and smoking a cigarette while watching your child play. The babysitter is highly qualified, and you have been very happy with her, but you do not want her to smoke when she is watching your child. What do you do?
    • Solutions:
    • Scene 2
      You and your family go to a friend's house to celebrate her son's birthday. There are many adults and children inside the house. A few of the guests are smoking, which is making the house very smoky. The smoke is hurting your eyes and making it difficult for your daughter to breathe. You promised your friend you would help her, so you don't want to leave. What can you do?
    • Solutions:
    • Scene 3
      You go out to eat with a friend after church to celebrate her recent retirement. You ask to sit in the nonsmoking section of the restaurant. The restaurant is crowded, and after a long wait, you are finally seated. The nonsmoking area is in a corner of the restaurant. There are no walls separating the smoking section from the nonsmoking section. As you order your meal, four people sit down a few tables away from you in the smoking section. They begin to smoke cigarettes. After a minute or two, you begin to smell their smoke at your table. You tell the waiter the smoke is not good for your health. He says he can't ask them to stop because they are in the smoking section. What do you do?
    • Solutions:

    Smoke-Free Family Sign

    We are a Smoke-Free Family.

    Thank You for Not Smoking.

    Tips To Quit Smoking

    Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, and 200 of them are poisonous.

    • Get ready.
      • Set a quit date. Pick a date within the next 2 weeks. Think about choosing a special day to you, such as your birthday or a holiday, if it's within 2 weeks.
      • Throw away ALL cigarettes, lighters, matches, and ashtrays in your home, car, and place of work.
      • Don't let people smoke in your home.
      • Don't try to cut back on cigarettes by buying one at a time instead of buying the pack. This costs more money, and you can lose count and end up smoking more cigarettes.
      • Review your past attempts to quit. Think about what worked and what didn't.
      • Once you quit, don't smoke—NOT EVEN A PUFF! One cigarette can cause you to start smoking again.
    • Line up support.
      • Tell your family, friends, and coworkers that you are going to quit smoking and want their help. Ask them not to smoke around you and not to offer you cigarettes.
      • Get individual, group, or telephone counseling. The more counseling you have, the better your chances are of quitting.
      • Meditate, chant, or think positively about quitting and breaking the smoking habit for good.
      • Find out whether your church, faith community, or other community organizations sponsor quit-smoking clinics or other activities that will support you in quitting smoking.
    • Find ways to relax.
      • Try to distract yourself from urges to smoke. Talk to someone, go for a walk, or get busy with a task.
      • Change your routine. Use a different route to work. Drink tea instead of coffee.
      • Do something to reduce your stress. Listen to music, do aerobics, or dance to your favorite music.
      • Plan something enjoyable to do every day.
      • Drink a lot of water when you feel the urge to smoke.
    • Use other quitting aids.
      • Talk to your doctor or other health care providers. Consider using the nicotine patch, nicotine gum, nicotine nasal spray, or nicotine inhaler to help you stay off cigarettes.
      • Check with your doctor about a medicine called bupropion SR. This medicine can help reduce your cravings for smoking.
      • Use quit-smoking, self-help programs developed for African Americans, such as "Pathways to Freedom: Winning the Fight Against Tobacco." This program is available from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
        (www.cdc.gov/tobacco/quit_smoking/how_to_quit/pathways/).
    • Be prepared if you do not have immediate success.
      • Avoid drinking alcohol. Drinking alcohol lowers your chances of success.
      • Spend more time with friends who do not smoke. Being around smokers can make you want to smoke.
      • Many smokers will gain weight when they quit, usually fewer than 10 pounds. Eat a healthy diet, and stay active. Don't let weight gain distract you from your main goal—quitting smoking.
      • If you're in a bad mood or feel depressed, try a new activity. Take a walk, talk to a friend, or meditate to improve your mood.
      • Be kind to yourself. Remind yourself of the reasons you want to quit. If you slip, do not be discouraged. Try again!

    Help Your Heart—Don't Smoke

    Smoking cigarettes is harmful.It becomes an addiction that leads to serious health problems. Quitting smoking will lower your risk of heart attack, stroke, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (known as COPD or lung disease). It will help you breathe easier and have more energy. In addition, your clothes, hair, and breath will smell fresher, and you will save money by not buying cigarettes. Most important, when you quit smoking, your children won't be exposed to your secondhand smoke. They will have your good example to follow.

    Even if you don't smoke, it is important that you learn about the best ways to quit. Help those around you, and keep your children smoke free.

    Quit smoking and add years to your life!

    James and Darnell decided to quit smoking. Darnell made a firm pledge one morning, threw away his cigarettes, and used his willpower to quit for good. James used the following three tips and also quit.

    1. Learn how to handle urges to smoke.
      • "Every time I felt stressed, I wanted to smoke. Instead of smoking, I said a prayer to ask for courage and strength, talked to a friend, or walked around the neighborhood."
    2. Get support.
      • "I also attended a quit-smoking program in the clinic every Thursday night, and I got a lot of help from my family and the support group. Even my children are encouraging me."
    3. Use the nicotine patch or gum.
      • "The doctor at the clinic suggested that I use the patch. The patch helped me control the urge to smoke."

    Break Free From the Smoking Habit

    Ms. Diane's tips to make your home smoke free

    Protect your children!

    Talk to your children about the harm that smoking will do to their health. Help them practice saying, "No, thanks. I don't smoke."

    If your children already smoke, the way you react can make a difference. Tell your children that you really care about them and what happens to them. Listen to their thoughts and feelings. Give them facts that can help them choose good health over smoking.

    Make your personal pledge to protect your family from cigarette smoke.

    Here are some examples:

    • If you smoke—
      I will set a quit date today. (The important thing is for you to pick the date—not your doctor, not your family, not your kids. It's your decision.)
    • To help your children stay smoke-free—
      I will talk to my children about the harmful effects of smoking cigarettes and cigars. I will encourage them to create a sign that says, "We are proud to be smoke-free kids."
    • To protect your family, friends, and others from smokers—
      I will let my family, friends, and others know that I do mind if they smoke around me. I will put a "No Smoking" sticker or sign in my house and car.
    • To help your community—
      I will encourage my neighbors to have smoke-free homes. I will give them "Thank You for Not Smoking" signs.


    The health of yourself and your family is priceless.
    Make an investment in it!

    When a friend comes to our house and lights up a cigarette, I say very politely, "I'm sorry, we have a smoke-free home. Please smoke outside." And I keep a sign in my home that says, "Thank You for Not Smoking."


    Go To SESSION 9 Go To SESSION 11

    Last Updated December 2010

Twitter iconTwitterimage of external icon Facebook iconFacebookimage of external icon YouTube iconYouTubeimage of external icon Google+ iconGoogle+image of external icon