Harold Garoutte and his dog Bailey in the new truck he purchased after using the cost savings from quitting tobacco.
On April 22, 2018, Harold Garoutte picked up one of the quit tobacco flyers while he was on the Alaska Native Health Campus. He called the phone number listed, and, with the help of Southcentral Foundation’s Quit Tobacco Program, he decided to give it a try.
“Quitting tobacco was one of the most difficult and best things I have had to do in my life,” Garoutte said. “A month after quitting, the smoker’s cough was gone, I didn’t need to use inhalers to breathe, and I was feeling better overall. My taste buds changed too; I no longer want to drink Diet Coke®, or the gas station food I got when I picked up tobacco.”
During the year-long program he learned about triggers, cravings, and other ways to support quitting tobacco. Most importantly, he learned how to stick to the program. With the help and encouragement from a tobacco treatment specialist, Garoutte saved the money he would normally spend on tobacco products and junk food. He was thrilled to share with his tobacco treatment specialist that he purchased a new truck with the savings; his truck payment and the insurance were less than what he spent on tobacco each month.
Garoutte expressed that his truck is a daily reminder of the positive changes in his lifestyle that could not have occurred without quitting tobacco.
Quitting smoking is not easy. Let the Great American Smokeout event on Nov. 21 be your day to start the journey toward a smoke-free life. While it’s not an easy thing to do, many people, like Garoutte, quit tobacco — you can too. Keep in mind that quitting tobacco is a process, and it takes some people several tries before they quit completely. Every step toward quitting is a success; just remember, you can do it!
If you want to learn more about quitting tobacco or are ready to quit, help is available to become tobacco free. SCF has nationally certified tobacco treatment specialists to provide direct support. Specialists help customer-owners identify goals and tools to quit tobacco. Some of the tools include weekly and/or monthly check-ins, nicotine replacement therapy products, and help identifying and removing barriers.
Schedule an appointment with a certified tobacco treatment specialist, and quit tobacco today. The program provides resources including counseling, follow-up phone calls, quit plans, nicotine replacement therapy, and more.
Coping methods when quitting nicotine work differently for everyone. Studies have shown that using a combination of quitting methods with counseling works best. You can target physical and mental addiction by combining individual counseling. It is okay if you need help quitting tobacco.
Talk to your provider, or call SCF’s Quit Tobacco Program at (907) 729-2689 for more information.