OSF HealthCare recommends quitting smoking in 2021

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — As the new year approaches, some may opt for a new year’s resolution. OSF HealthCare recommends quitting smoking in 2021.

OSF HealthCare Intensive Care Unity Medical Director, Dr. Ghagat Aulakh, offers some advice to help community members take the first step.

“I think this pandemic has highlighted a lot of things with stress that everyone’s dealing with,” said Aulakh. “So it’s only magnified the smoking issue we’re dealing with.”

Dr. Aulakh says there are many reasons people decide to quit smoking. It could be to improve one’s health, save money, or preventing exposure to others.

For those with an oral fixation, Dr. Aulakh recommends using vegetables, sunflower seeds, or other snacks to keep something in one’s mouth. This can help satiate the craving to smoke a cigarette.

Also, for those that turn to alternative methods, such as vaping or e-cigarettes, Dr. Aulakh still rings the alarm bells.

“It’s not water vapor that you’re actually smoking and blowing out. It’s actually a lot of combustible products,” he said. “People tend to over-utilize Juul quite a bit, and you could end up with nicotine poisoning and other health effects.”

Dr. Aulakh says many people are told to quit smoking, but they’re not told how. He recommends taking advantage of mobile apps and other online tools. There are free tools at smokefree.gov.

“Think about what it is that you’re associating your cigarette smoking with,” Dr. Aulakh said. “Maybe you have to have it in the morning with your cup of coffee. Skip the coffee and just go right to work. Break that routine.”

Overall, Aulakh says that all it takes is a change in mindset, and maybe one’s environment.

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