BOSTON (State House News Service) – With the new year approaching, the American Lung Association is encouraging the 11.1 percent of Massachusetts residents who smoke to resolve to quit using tobacco in 2023.
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Massachusetts, the organization said, killing 9,300 people each year. Quitting smoking is routinely listed as one of the top New Year’s resolutions and the American Lung Association launched a “Tobacco-Free ’23” campaign to help smokers become former smokers next year.
“While quitting smoking is extremely difficult, it is possible. In fact, it typically takes a person 8-10 attempts to quit smoking for good, which is why we call it a journey,” Ashley Carrier, executive director of the American Lung Association, said. “It is important to have support during this process, including family, friends, and your doctor, to help keep you on the right path.” Aside from the myriad health benefits of going tobacco-free, many former smokers find that they have more money left in their pockets once they have quit.
In Massachusetts, a pack-a-day smoker could save $4,110 a year by quitting entirely and the average Bay State smoker (who buys about 155 packs of cigarettes a year) could save $1,740 a year, according to data from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. But lung advocates do not just want smokers to stop buying and using combustible cigarettes — they also encourage people to avoid vaping nicotine via e-cigs as well.
“Switching to e-cigarettes does not mean quitting. Quitting means ending your addiction to nicotine,” the organization said. The Lung Association runs a free Lung Helpline and Tobacco Quitline — available by calling 1-800-LUNGUSA — staffed by licensed registered nurses, respiratory therapists, and certified tobacco treatment specialists who can provide support to smokers wishing to kick the habit.