Health and Human Services Agency

Margaret Williams

(530) 642-7164

Make the plan to quit nicotine for good!

(Placerville, CA) - The American Cancer Society marks the 44th annual Great American Smokeout on November 21, 2019, an event that encourages smokers and vapers to quit nicotine. "We encourage everyone in El Dorado County who uses nicotine products to consider participating in the Great American Smokeout, and making a plan to quit for good," said Christy White, Project Director with the El Dorado County Tobacco Use Prevention Program (TUPP). "By doing so, you'll join thousands of people across the country taking that important step towards a healthier life."

Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disability in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Smoking is associated with heart disease, stroke, lung disease, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and multiple types of cancer.

The CDC has also reported a connection between vaping and lung illnesses, including irreversible scarring that destroys the lungs. Studies show that adolescent brains are especially vulnerable to the addictive and toxic effects of nicotine found in smoking and vaping products, and can permanently affect attention, memory and learning.

"Quitting nicotine can be a challenge, but help is available," said White. "The first step is to make a plan to quit. Once you've made that decision, write down your reasons for quitting. This list is critical and can be a powerful motivator when you're having a craving. Also, reach out for support and be patient with yourself. It may take several tries before you're successful, but each step gets you closer.

According to White, it's never too early or too late to quit nicotine. "Even teens who are relatively new at smoking or vaping may be hearing of the harms associated with using these products and wish they could quit," said White. "The good news is that there are many free resources and supports available to help smokers and vapers become nicotine-free, including some resources just for teens."

The California Smokers' Helpline offers free over-the-phone counseling for adults and teens via 1-800-NO-BUTTS, and online tips/information at, as well as a dedicated counseling line for people who want to quit vaping: 1-844-8-NO-VAPE.  For teens, the following website has many useful tips to quit vaping - The American Cancer Society also has online resources at or by calling 1-800-227-2345.

These stop smoking tips can help with nicotine cravings:

  • Take one day at a time
  • Picture your success and envision your life as a non-smoker or non-vaper
  • Take a breather; try deep breathing exercises, relaxation exercises or yoga
  • Go for a walk or the gym, or do something active that gets your body moving
  • Be prepared to feel the urge to smoke. It will pass. Use the 4 D's to help fight the urge: Delay.  Deep breathe. Drink water slowly. Do something else.
  • If you miss the feeling of having a cigarette or e-cigarette in your mouth, try using something else, such as a pencil, toothpicks, gum or lifesavers. Use a stress ball to keep your hands busy.

For more resources to quit nicotine, or for information about tobacco education and prevention efforts in El Dorado County, please visit TUPP's website at: TUPP is a program of the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency.

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