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Tobacco Prevention News

With April being Stress Awareness Month and May being Mental Health Awareness Month, now is a great time to discuss how the use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes affects a person’s stress levels and mental health.

Stress is a normal part of everyday life. For smokers, many struggle with nicotine withdrawal and cravings when they quit. Nicotine is the main addictive substance in cigarettes, e-cigarettes or vaping products, smokeless tobacco (chew) and alternative nicotine products such as nicotine pouches that affects many parts of our body, including the brain.

One common misconception is that the use of nicotine in any manner, whether smoking, vaping or chewing can help relieve anxiety, stress and feelings of depression.

Truth is this is a part of the nicotine withdrawal cycle. Irritability, anxiety and depression are symptoms of nicotine withdrawal and using nicotine temporarily relieves these symptoms. While withdrawal can be uncomfortable, the good news is the worst withdrawal symptoms usually last less than two weeks, with symptoms being the strongest during the first week.

The most common symptoms of nicotine withdrawal include:

• Having cravings for cigarettes or e-cigarettes

• Feeling down or sad, irritable, on edge, restless and jumpy or grouchy

• Having trouble concentrating or sleeping Over time, the symptoms and cravings will fade as long as the person stays smoke free. For many smokers, cravings for a cigarette or any other tobacco product, including e-cigarettes last longer than any other symptoms of withdrawal. It is important to know that there is no health danger associated with nicotine withdrawal. Quitting smoking, vaping or using any tobacco and nicotine products is the best thing to do for one’s health.

The Montana Tobacco Quit Line can also help people with their quit attempt. The Montana Tobacco Quit Line offers NRT (gum, patches and lozenges) and Varenicline, the generic form of Chantix. They also offer Bupropion with no co-pay. Bupropion is a medication used to help treat individuals with anxiety or depression. Anyone that engages the Montana Tobacco Quit Line is available for either Varenicline or Bupropion for three months free.

To get started call 800QUIT NOW (800-784-8669), or visit www.QuitNowMontana. com American Indian Commercial Tobacco Quit Line: 855-5AI-QUIT or MTAmercianIndianQuitLine. com My Life, My Quit (Under 18): 855-891-9989,, or text “Start” to 36072.

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