Health is the Best Valentine’s Day Gift
Partners for Healthier Communities, the Healthy Maine Partnership based at GoodallHospital, offers suggestions for ways that tobacco users can give their loved ones the greatest gift on Valentine’s Day by quitting tobacco.
If you’re a tobacco user, consider giving a gift sweeter than chocolate and much more fragrant than a dozen red roses this Valentine’s Day. Partnership For A Tobacco-Free Maine (PTM) and Partners for Healthier Communities, at GoodallHospital, are offering creative ideas for presenting your loved one with the gift of becoming tobacco-free. From gift-wrapping your last pack of cigarettes to sending an e-postcard message, you can show your Valentine that you’re committed to your health and that of those around you by giving up tobacco for good.
People who are in relationships with tobacco users often have concerns for their partners’ health. Gum disease and bad breath can make a Valentine’s Day kiss an unpleasant experience, and longer-term hearing, vision and immune problems can prevent any kind of fun on the holiday. Tobacco-users even endanger their partners’ health through second-hand smoke.
“Valentine’s Day is one of the best times of year to quit,” says Denise Paquet, Tobacco Control Specialist atGoodallHospital“End-of-the-year holiday stress is behind you, it’s still early enough for New Year’s resolutions, and the mid-winter cold weather makes smoking outdoors uncomfortable.”
Mainers who would like help planning out their Valentine’s Day quitting process, or who would like more information about the support available to tobacco users wishing to quit, should visit PTM’s Quitlink at www.thequitlink.com. This free online resource is a place where conversations among tobacco users who are thinking about quitting, loved ones who want information about supporting a quitter, and quitters who want to share their stories can be found. If you’re planning to quit for Valentine’s Day, you’re invited to share your story and success on the Quitlink.
The Quitlink also offers a free e-postcard message about your plans to quit that you can email to your friends and family. They in turn can use the Quitlink to send back supportive e-postcard to you as well. If you’d like to give your Valentine your commitment wrapped with a bow, there are many creative ways to present the gift of a tobacco-free lifestyle. Partners for Healthier Communities recommends the following:
- Create or purchase a “No Smoking” sign
- Frame your tobacco-free oath
- Mark a calendar with daily goals for reducing your tobacco use and highlight a final end date
- Create a booklet of fun coupons — “Good for one tobacco-free kiss!” or “Good for one night of movie-watching without smoke breaks!”
More information about support for quitters and the negative health effects of tobacco use is online at Partnership For A Tobacco-Free Maine’s website, www.tobaccofreemaine.org, and Healthy Maine Partnerships’ website, www.healthymainepartnerships.org.
About Partnership For A Tobacco-Free Maine
The Maine CDC’s Partnership For A Tobacco-Free Maine (PTM) is the Maine State Tobacco Prevention and Control Program. The organization’s mission is to reduce death and disability due to tobacco use among Mainecitizens by creating an environment that is supportive of a tobacco-free life. The PTM is funded in part by the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA). With the MSA funds, the Maine State Legislature created the Fund for A Healthy Maine, and dedicates a portion of those funds to developing and implementing statewide tobacco prevention, control, and treatment programs. The PTM also receives funding from a cooperative agreement with the federal CDC and is designed to reflect the federal CDC’s Best Practice Guidelines for Statewide Tobacco Prevention and Control Programs. More information is available online at www.tobaccofreemaine.org.
About Healthy Maine Partnerships
The coalition of Healthy Maine Partnerships (HMPs) is a collaborative effort of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, MaineCenterfor Disease Control and Prevention, Maine Office of Substance Abuse and Maine Department of Education. The coalition consists of 26 local HMPs that strive to make Mainea better place to live and work by educating their communities about wellness. The HMPs work with schools, hospitals, businesses and volunteers to carry out their missions. The Fund for a Healthy Maine provides training, technical assistance, evaluation, program development and media help directly to the HMPs. More information is available online at www.healthymainepartnerships.org.