Tackle tobacco this Recovery Month

Opinion: Tackle tobacco this Recovery Month

September is Recovery Month.

September is Recovery Month. Did you know that the most prevalent and most deadly addiction is tobacco? Tobacco use kills almost 700 Alaskans every year; more than all drugs and alcohol combined. Though tobacco is an equal opportunity killer, tobacco use and its deadly effects are experienced almost exclusively in low-income and other vulnerable populations, including people with drug and alcohol use disorder. According to the CDC, 70-90 percent of people with substance use disorder are also addicted to nicotine. Historically people being treated for substance use disorder have been discouraged from quitting their tobacco use. It was believed that quitting smoking was too hard and would compromise a person’s chance at recovery. We know now that that is not true. People who quit smoking during treatment have a 25 percent increased likelihood of long-term sobriety. If any other medication or therapy provided such benefits, everyone would be encouraged to take it. Anyone who uses tobacco products should be encouraged to quit, and as a community, we should adopt policies, such as flavored tobacco restrictions, which prevent youth from becoming nicotine addicted. For help quitting tobacco, please call the Alaska Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

Kristin Cox,

Tobacco Prevention for JAMHI Health and Wellness

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One Reply to “Tackle tobacco this Recovery Month”

  1. If JAMHI is suposively a non-smoking why then do they support there clients who live in there group homes and on all JAMHI campuses to smoke. i.e. giving out cigarettes to individuals on an hourly basis and providing them comfortable out of the rain wind prove environments. Do you truly believe you are helping individuals to live their best own lives by offering this so deadly substance? And also encouraging them to by providing them shelter. Your non smoking sign on the front of your building in layman term is a two-fork tongue . How can you live with yourself. Where is the LOVE. I am not seeing it. From a long time consumer of JAMHI I have watched it grow and turned from a place that generally cared about PEOPLE to an environment that HOUSES people and forces them to conform by making them believe that they have their best interest at heart. Why not be true to your talk of wellness and make JAMHI a truly non-smoking environment. If people really want housing and support to “Live there own best lives” relocate these that refuse to make changes in there lives and make the housing available for people who are truly wanting to make changes. I really don’t see Wellness happening. I see JAMHI keeping them stuck in individuals hell. If you just want to house people which I believe some people have been housed for twenty years with JAMHI. Would you give your own daughter a cigarette every hour because she wants one. If JAMHI really wants people to change. change JAMHI. Stop being a crisis reactive organization and be a preventive crisis one. Please don’t let my friends that I have made to continually being in the process of committing a slow suicide. All of your consumers know that they are killing themselves .Just because someone doesn’t want to quit or doesn’t even know how isn’t your responsibility to show them by example how to live. I started smoking at age five. Even though my parents where caucasian Upper middle class which both had Masters I did not get taught how to live in this society. Some how I missed it and I am 54yrs old and have lived in all the JAMHI housing facilities through out the years. I was able to quit for five years by finding resources out side of JAMHI. When I was having a very difficult time with my life I was encouraged to move into supportive living at Salmon Creek in 2013 myself and one other consumer where non-smoking. The environment was not a save place for me and within 6months I was back to smoking because of JAMHI allowing and encouraging their consumers too smoke. It has been five years that I have continued to smoke even though I now live independently in my own apartment. Why not make it mandatory if consumers want to live on your property they need to take your Breathe Easy smoking cessation class weekly for a year or at least bring the class to the group homes. Truly low income safe housing is not available. Lets change things and think outside of the cigarette box. Everyone even the most severely brain disordered individuals can learn to choose healthy living skills and stop the slow suicide.

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