PHOENIX--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Arizona Smokers’ Helpline recognizes that the planning and preparation prior to travel for extended weekends, like Fourth of July, can cause stress, which in turn can trigger smoking. Stress from travel may cause a relapse, disrupt a quit attempt or give people a reason to delay quitting. Being conscious of the added stress this weekend and being prepared to deal with it in ways other smoking will go a long way to support ‘independence’ from tobacco.
There are a variety of reasons vacations can cause stress: the anxiety of taking time off work, making travel plans, packing and a change in routine. Many smokers may believe that cigarettes are the only way to relax. It’s important to note that stress is a part of life, so the key to stay quit or to make a quit attempt successful is to find other ways to handle the stress.
“Planning ahead can be very helpful in helping smokers quit,” said Courtney Ward, Chief, Office of Tobacco Prevention & Cessation, Arizona Department of Health Services. “Trips don’t have to be stressful and can even be a great opportunity to make a plan to quit, especially if traveling with friends and family who can serve as a support system.”
The Fourth of July weekend is one of the busiest travel times of the year. It is anticipated thousands of people will take to the road or board planes for the long three-day weekend. Tips to support a quit attempt or to avoid relapse while traveling over the holiday:
Tips for a road trip:
- Get rid of any lighters and ashtrays that may be in the car.
- Bring along new music or audio books to play as a tobacco-craving distraction.
- Bring an array of healthy snacks and plenty of bottled water to help fight cravings.
- Before the trip, write a list of reasons why you are quitting; ask a passenger to read it to you.
Giving serious consideration to not smoking during a road trip will benefit passengers as well. Even when a smoker rolls down the window there is still exposure to secondhand smoke, a Class A carcinogen known to cause cancer in humans and animals and the cause of nearly 50,000 deaths per year. There are over 7,000 chemicals in secondhand smoke, about 70 of which are known to cause cancer in humans.
Tips for airplane travel:
- Maximize the pre-board time with technology: download a new movie, a TED Talk or a book.
- Reduce stress by arriving early, printing boarding passes ahead of time and checking flight times to avoid surprises.
- Avoid lounges or spaces where smoking is allowed.
Whether a quit attempt is made this weekend or at a later time, people can receive ongoing support by connecting to counselors from the Arizona Smokers’ Helpline. ASHLine quit coaches will help smokers overcome the challenges of quitting and are able to provide two weeks’ worth of free gum, patches and lozenges. People who are ready now can call the ASHLine at 1-800-55-66-222 to set up an appointment to talk with a Quit Coach.
ASHLine encourages smokers to celebrate this Independence Day by declaring freedom from cigarettes and tobacco altogether.