Sunday, November 27

New Year New Life. Another reason to quit

One year ends, and this is a time of plans and resolutions for the next, and perhaps even longer. In previous columns I referred to the ills caused by tobacco in its various forms. Stopping those products is a great way to start 2022.

“When someone stops smoking,” explains Ándria Reyes, a Health Educator at Columbia University Medical Center, “their life improves and their life expectancy increases. It also lowers the risk of developing more than 16 types of cancer, as well as heart and lung disease and having a cerebrovascular accident, known in English as stroke”.

Those who have already quit smoking know that in addition to reducing the risks of serious medical problems, the beneficial effects are felt in daily life. You breathe better and more deeply, you recover or improve your smell and your food has more flavor, unpleasant odors are eliminated in homes, in clothes, in cars. But for that you have to stop smoking, which is the most difficult thing.

“A highly effective method is to participate in a specialized program, of which there are a variety,” says Reyes, “The counselors help choose the best system. For example, the nicotine replacement method, which helps a lot because the person can gradually reduce consumption ”.

Another important help that these programs often provide is that they enable people who feel distressed because they have a strong urge to smoke to call support lines.

Many people, however, try to give up tobacco without help from others.

“There are many methods to quit smoking on your own,” says Reyes. “You can smoke fewer cigarettes each day, or smoke less of each cigarette. Or you can use nicotine gum, or patches. These methods give the person a little bit of nicotine, less and less, so that they can endure more and more time consuming less and less nicotine ”.

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And finally, there are those who quit smoking completely and without any help, which in English has the curious name of cold turkey.

I must warn you that the success rate of that method is very low. According to recent studies, of every 100 people who quit smoking in this way, about 95 do it again within six months.

Ándria Reyes is part of a smoking cessation program at Columbia University Medical Center. The program is bilingual and free, and the sessions are not face-to-face. Interested persons can call (917) 652-6759. You can also find many useful resources on the website.

Choose the method you want, but I hope that 2022 will find you tobacco-free, and that it will be forever.

For more information about the Hispanic Federation, see

Let’s celebrate our organization’s 31st anniversary together, and see you next column!

Take care of yourself and others!

Frankie Miranda is the president of the Hispanic Federation

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