November 26, 2010 - City of Rome Georgia – Floyd County GA.. If all goes as planned, Steve Hulsey and his family will be giving thanks today for his eighth day in a row without a cigarette. The Floyd County utilities administrator quit smoking Nov. 18, spurred by the free turkey the county was offering employees who participated in the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout.
“I went cold turkey to win a turkey,” Hulsey said Wednesday, chewing rhythmically on a slim plastic stir-straw. Of the 11 employees who won turkeys by going without a cigarette for 24 hours,
Hulsey and his water department clerk Ellen Harrison are among the six who opted to continue their battles against the lure of nicotine, according to county wellness coordinator Sandy McCollum. “I was really encouraged,” McCollum said. “They have turkeys for Thanksgiving and, hopefully, a Thanksgiving without all that smoke.”
County employees who smoke will pay a $20 surcharge every two-week pay period for their medical benefits beginning July 1. The fee offsets what would have been an even higher hike in premiums than the nearly 30 percent that kicked in Oct. 1 — but officials wanted to give workers a chance to quit before imposing it. Employees also get a $400 discount for participating in the wellness program.
McCollum said the wide-ranging program offers periodic four-week smoking cessation classes and will pay for the first month of withdrawal aids such as Nicorette nicotine lozenges. “We’re doing several things to help our smokers quit, to help them get healthy,” she said. “Not only are we concerned about employees’ health in general, but smoking drives up insurance claims.”
A U.S. Surgeon General report says the carbon monoxide level in a smoker’s blood drops to normal 12 hours after quitting, and the excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s within a year. What happens after you quit smoking? The benefits of quitting smoking timeline:
TobaccoWatch.org - Maybe it's time to re-examine the various approaches in the treatment of nicotine addiction. It has been known for a while that nicotine may be a cancer promoter. Nicotine inhibits the bodies defense mechanism for destroying abnormal cells such as cancer cells thus contributing to the growth of an existing cancer. (Nicotine-mediated inhibition of apoptosis may contribute to the pathogenesis of tobacco-related cancer as well as decrease the efficacy of cancer therapies, Wright, S. C. et al., FASEB J. 7: 1045-1051; 1993.) Recently a study has found that nicotine itself maybe one of the chemicals in cigarettes that can trigger the development of breast cancer. (PAPER: Nicotine in cigarettes linked to breast cancer..) Why introduce another foreign substance into your body like nicotine (e.g., like found in nicotine replacement therapies) when it is not absolutely necessary??
Reference: Incentive program led some employees to give up smoking for Thanksgiving by Diane Wagner, Rome News Tribune, 11/24/2010.