Celebrating the Great American Smokeout

Written by Philly311’s Kimberly Adams

Every year, on the third Thursday of November, smokers across the nation take part in the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout. Today, City employees take on the challenge to stop using tobacco and help people know about the many tools they can use to quit and stay quit.

Camera Pictures 516Meet Philly 311 Contact Center Agent Stacy Sautner. Stacy began smoking socially when she was 16 years old. Her casual cigarette eventually became a habit that she has been trying to kick for the past 10 years. On Tuesday, November 5, 2013, she decided she’d had enough and gave up smoking cold turkey. Stacy’s reasons for quitting were like many others: weight gain, increased appetite and a consistent lack of energy. In a customer service call center, Stacy’s main priority is providing quality service to our citizens and maintaining a pleasant demeanor which she found difficult at times as a smoker. As a new non-smoker, she admits she still struggles to resist after a stressful day. However, Stacy knows support is key! “I remind my coworkers, friends and family that I quit so they will help me when it gets tough.” And it’s working. Stacy hasn’t bought a pack of cigarettes since she quit. She wants other smokers trying to quit to know most importantly that “You can do it! When you want to smoke, think about something else you want more to help you forget.” She also swears by hard candies. Stacy, your fellow employees at Philly311 support you today and everyday as you continue to stay committed and live healthier. SALUTE!

The American Cancer Society provides a vast array of information and countless tips for smokers trying to quit, non-smokers trying to stay committed as well as their supporters.

Research shows that smokers are most successful in kicking the habit when they have support, such as:

  • Telephone smoking-cessation hotlines
  • Stop-smoking groups
  • Online quit groups
  • Counseling
  • Nicotine replacement products
  • Prescription medicine to lessen cravings
  • Guide books
  • Encouragement and support from friends and family members

Using 2 or more of these measures to quit smoking works better than using any one of them alone.

Additionally, our City’s Department of Public Health has resources to quit and stay quit including free Nicotine patches, quit classes and telephone hotline support! There’s even a calculator to help you see how much you could save as a non-smoker.  Visit Smoke Free Philly and take the Smoke Free Home and Car pledge !

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