Extend your life by quitting

By Shari Lopatin: TriWest Healthcare Alliance

On average, smokers die 13 to 14 years sooner than nonsmokers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Since about 20 percent of the United States’ population smokes, that means almost a fifth of the country could live at least a full decade longer. Are you one of them?

If you’re not ready to take the plunge, try quitting for a month. Or even for a week.

Been thinking about this for awhile or not sure where to find the best resources? TriWest and TRICARE can help:

• TriWest’s dedicated toll-free Tobacco Quitline, 1-866-244-6870, is available 24/7/365. Talk one-on-one with a tobacco cessation coach about your concerns or questions about accomplishing your goal.

• TriWest’s tobacco cessation page, www.triwest.com/tobacco, provides information about local and statewide resources.

www.ucanquit2.org is an interactive site sponsored by the Department of Defense. Here, one can develop a quit plan, join a message board, or, if an eligible TRICARE beneficiary, chat live and get help quitting tobacco.

• Want to connect with other smokers/former smokers? Join the Facebook discussion. TriWest is hosting a discussion board on its company Facebook page called, “What Makes a Good Quitter?”

Dozens of participants have joined and posted their best success tips on how they quit for good — from using a pacifier to quitting for the sake of their children. “Like” the TriWest Facebook page at www.facebook.com/triwest