While you may already be aware of the many reasons to stop smoking, vaping, and chewing — from health risks (like heart disease, cancer and other illnesses) to the increasing cost of these products — Minnesotans are discovering a new one: possible links between commercial tobacco use and COVID-19.

For example, people who smoke are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The COVID-19 pandemic has many thinking that now is a better time than ever to quit. While quitting is hard, especially during these stressful times, you can find healthy ways to manage it all without using commercial tobacco.

Anna Arkin
Anna Arkin

One such resource is Quit Partner, Minnesota’s new family of free programs for people who are ready to quit smoking, vaping, or using smokeless tobacco. Those interested in quitting can try what appeals to them, including quit coaching over the phone and quit medications that are delivered by mail, such as nicotine patches, gum or lozenges.

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With Quit Partner support available online, by phone, and by mail, Minnesota residents looking to quit commercial tobacco and improve their health during the COVID-19 outbreak can connect with help without having to leave home.

Quit Partner also offers specialized programs for people living with mental illnesses or substance use disorders, American Indian communities (aiquit.com), pregnant and post-partum women, and teens ages 13-17 (MyLifeMyQuit.com)

Whatever your reason for quitting, here are six tips that can help you stick to your quit:

  1. Keep trying. Everyone has one thing in common: hitting a few bumps along the way. Keep trying; it takes most people several attempts to quit.

  2. Stay positive. Focus on the benefits of quitting and what you’re gaining instead of what you’re giving up. Write these down to remind yourself.

  3. Reach out. Connect with friends and family to share your goals — and your struggles. They can help you stay strong and remind you of your reasons for quitting. You don’t have to go it alone.

  4. Relax. Relaxing may be more difficult these days if you’re out of your typical routine or not able to see friends and family as often. Try reading, talking on the phone, taking deep breaths, getting outside or practicing yoga.

  5. Stay active. You may be sticking around the house more these days, but that doesn’t mean you have to be inactive — try going for a walk, riding your bike, or doing an at-home workout. Doing something that gets you moving helps clear your mind and makes it easier to deal with new challenges. Start small and keep moving until you feel better.

  6. Fuel your body. Find the right mix of foods — including treats — to keep yourself full of energy. Try different recipes to find something that’s both healthy and tasty.

Interested in more helpful tips and free resources to quit smoking, vaping or using smokeless tobacco? Visit QuitPartnerMN.com or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for judgment-free support.

There are many ways you can make it easier on yourself to quit commercial tobacco.