Transitioning to a smoke-free ‘new normal’
FOR a typical summer, you might have planned to go hiking, camping, visiting family or even travelling to other countries. This summer, however, is different than most due to the coronavirus outbreak.
While some states have lifted their stay-at-home orders, many local businesses are still not up-and-running, which means it is harder to take normal summer vacations. The pandemic brings the recognition that we need to adopt a “new normal” with the outbreak in mind.
Here are a few ideas to make an “at-home summer” memorable and special while still adhering to social distancing guidelines, and while adopting a new routine to break the smoking habit:
1. Eat like you are on vacation
Food is a great way to create the feeling that you’re on vacation. Bummed to miss out on seafood from that beach vacation this year? Get some shrimp cocktail. Had to cancel the summer barbeque? That’s ok, you can still set up a backyard barbeque yourself or do some indoor grilling. Since traveling is not recommended, why not have food from around the world come to you? Browse the internet for cooking ideas. There is something there for everybody to create international dishes at home. If you do not feel like cooking, you can also order your favorite indulgent food to be delivered. Share the dish you cooked or the food you enjoyed on social media to connect with your friends and family members. You can also let them know that you would like to start living a smoke-free life and are planning to quit smoking. Gaining social support will help with quitting.
2. Enjoy a movie or TV marathon
Sometimes nothing is as relaxing as simply turning your home into an entertainment center for watching a movie marathon. Besides a movie marathon, you can watch a TV drama series or a YouTube video marathon. You can still watch movies and shows together even if you are apart from family or friends via chat applications. Ask each family member to pick their favorite shows, then take turns watching everyone’s top picks. You can even have an “intermission” to break up the couch time, with themed games, meals, or discussions about the plot. This can help you stay busy, and keep you from stepping outside to smoke.
3. Plan a tournament
Competition is one of the oldest forms of entertainment. And winning feels just as good now as it did to folks living many years ago. Competitions can bring out some really fierce, but hopefully friendly rivalries. Pull out the board games, find a deck of cards, play video or mobile games with family members. You can also play games with friends via video conferencing. In between games, connect with the kids to share a family secret or a family tradition, or express an interest in learning new technology from them. Ask about things like using Instagram, how to take a nice selfie or how to use those face filters on the phone. Learning new skills can help you keep busy and distracted in order to get through cravings to smoke.
We may be experiencing unprecedented times, but we can take this opportunity to spend precious time with family — time we often can’t find in our regular schedules. This also creates an excellent chance to take the first steps toward quitting smoking.
If you feel pulled in multiple directions during these difficult times and are finding it hard to adjust to the new normal, it is completely understandable. Why not reach out for help?
Asian Smokers’ Quitline (ASQ) understands that the stress current and former tobacco users are going through can be extremely difficult.
Our friendly and non-judgmental counselors from language-specific quitlines speak Chinese (Cantonese or Mandarin), Korean, or Vietnamese and provide one-on-one telephone counseling to help tobacco users adopt a smoke-free living style during this challenging time. Here are the language specific quitline information:
• Mandarin & Cantonese – 1-800-838-8917, www.asq-chinese.org;
• Korean – 1-800-556-5564, www.asq-korean.org;
• Vietnamese – 1-800-778-8440, www.asq-viet.org.
The ASQ service is free and available nationwide. Please feel free to contact us via phone or visit us at www.asiansmokersquitline.org. Eligible smokers may receive a free two-week supply of nicotine patches and it will be sent directly to smokers’ homes. Friends and family members of tobacco users are welcome to contact ASQ to receive advice and materials on how to help others quit.
Asian Smokers’ Quitline wishes everyone continued safety and good health!
ASQ is operated by the Asian Smokers’ Quitline (ASQ) and funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). ASQ provides FREE evidence-based smoking cessation services in Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean and Vietnamese to Asian communities in the U.S. and eligible smokers can receive a free two-week supply of nicotine patches. Studies have shown that smokers who enroll in ASQ services double their chances of quitting successfully. ASQ is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Pacific Time (10 a.m. to midnight Eastern Time). To enroll, call or register online today!