Q: Why is the PA Department of Health speaking out on the importance of those who are quitting tobacco to seek support in their attempt?
A: The first 72 hours (or 3 days) after quitting tobacco is when the body withdraws from nicotine, causing the most intense cravings. Quitters dealing with cravings or difficulties associated with quitting tobacco during the first days of their quit attempt should seek free support from the Pennsylvania Department of Health's new Web site DeterminedToQuit.com. And this Web site will be there for them in the weeks, months and years down the road when they will need a strong community of support to stay quit.
Q: Tell us about the Commonwealth's new Web site, DeterminedToQuit.com and how it will help people quit using tobacco?
A: DeterminedToQuit.com, is an innovative and integral part of the state's ongoing tobacco cessation and control program. It was designed to help people quit, and stay quit successfully.
It's no secret that people quit all the time and many are unsuccessful because they either don't know how to quit or they don't have the support that is vital to them staying quit. Eighty-five percent of Pennsylvania smokers have tried to quit smoking sometime in the past! And we know that success rates among those quitters double for smokers who are supported in their quit attempt. DeterminedtoQuit.com features an innovative "Quit Companion" tool that is easy-to-use with interactive tools for developing a quit plan, engaging a network of support and motivating people to never light up again.
Q: What are the key features on DeterminedToQuit.com?
A: DeterminedToQuit.com is like no other smoking cessation site out there. With the "Quit Companion" tool, exclusively developed for DeterminedToQuit.com, people will now have the ability to monitor their quit attempt. This online tracking and messaging system records personal smoking habits, monitors the users progress and lets a user select friends, family and co-workers who can send them messages of encouragement.
Another innovative tool on DeterminedToQuit.com is a series of video blogs. The video "quit diaries" hosted on the site feature fellow Pennsylvania smokers who are working through the same challenges, frustrations and triumphs of quitting smoking as those using the site. These video bloggers provide users with a source of motivation, renewed commitment, and inspiration to stay quit by sharing their challenges and triumphs.
Another thing that I love about the site is that it includes a wealth of information for both smokers and non-smokers – on motivating people to quit, how to quit and staying tobacco free.
Q: Why is DeterminedToQuit.com like no other quit site out there?
A: We're proud to say that DeterminedToQuit.com is the first of its kind, and we hope it will pave the way for more people to quit tobacco for good. DeterminedToQuit.com is part of a new trend where the Internet is not only a vast resource of information, but also an interactive and engaging tool for managing certain aspects of your life. Today, people use WeightWatchers.com to manage diet, Nike+ (plus) to monitor their running, and now DeterminedToQuit.com is here to track and engage smokers in their attempt to quit smoking.
Q: What is one of the things about this new site that you like the most?
A: The best part of this site is that its advanced features will help quitters to stay motivated and engaged in their quit attempt in the weeks following New Year's, when willpower may begin to fade. Smokers who quit with support are twice as likely to be successful. DeterminedToQuit.com provides a virtual community of support for quitters.
Q: DeterminedToQuit.com is not just for smokers, but all tobacco users. How harmful is tobacco to people's health?
A: The nicotine in tobacco, whether it is cigarette, chew, snuff, or cigars, is an extremely addictive drug that is harmful to people's health in so many different ways. Smoking drastically increases the risk of heart and lung disease, and in Pennsylvania alone its estimated there are more than 20,000 annual smoking-related deaths. Chew is just as dangerous, while it does not attack the lungs it can lead to oral cancers. We encourage anyone who uses any form of tobacco to quit this deadly substance as soon as possible.
Q: What are the health benefits of quitting?
A: Within the first 72 hours after quitting smoking, your blood pressure and pulse rate decreases, your risk of heart attack starts to drop, your senses of smell and taste improve, and your breathing gets easier, just to name a few. Once a person successfully quits, their chances of developing heart and lung cancer, and other cancers, is drastically reduced.
Q: Beyond the health improvements, what other benefits would a person see by quitting tobacco this year?
A: Aside from being able to live a healthier and happier life, many people don't realize how much money they could save from quitting now. In one year, a pack-a-day smoker could save more than $1,600 dollars. A two-pack-a-day smoker could save more than $3,200. That's just one more thing that smokers and tobacco users should think about when budgeting for 2008.
Q: How can people interested in quitting get started?
A: Pennsylvanians interested in quitting tobacco successfully can get help by utilizing the state's FREE quit resources available 24/7. They can visit the state's new web site, DeterminedToQuit.com, or call the PA Department of Health's Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW to speak to a live quit coach.