SWDHU promotes statewide tobacco quit week

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Southwestern District Health Unit is participating "It's Quitting Time," which aims to bring awareness to the dangers of tobacco and nicotine and assist users in setting a date to quit.

"It's Quitting Time" is part of a partnership with the North Dakota Department of Health, Tobacco Free North Dakota and other North Dakota public health units and runs the week of June 15-21.

During the week, tobacco users are encouraged to seek help quitting from Southwestern District Health Unit or ND Quits. These organizations can help users develop a quit plan.

“A quit plan includes setting a quit date, like during It’s Quitting Time. Southwestern District Health Unit can help, as can removing tobacco products and triggers from the home and work environment, and replacing those items with healthy foods, stress-relieving aids, and reminders of why to start living tobacco-free,” said Jennifer Schaeffer, Tobacco Prevention Coordinator with Southwestern District Health Unit. “Informing loved ones can also be very beneficial for additional support and motivation throughout the quitting process.”

The health unit will also provide tools and resources for tobacco users to improve the user's odds of success. They, as well as ND Quits, can provide support in the form of personal coaching and nicotine replacement therapy medication. Free nicotine patches, nicotine gum, or nicotine lozenges are provided to qualified participants.


Rates of tobacco are higher in North Dakota than the national average, according to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2017, 18.3% of adults in North Dakota smoked (compared to 17.1% nationally) while 12.6% of high school students in the state reported that they smoked cigarettes on at least one day in the past 30 days (compared to 8.8% nationally).

Tobacco and e-cigarette use are associated with various health risks including cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and respiratory illness. E-cigarette use is linked to E-cigarette or Vaping Product Use-Associated Lung Injury (EVALI), a serious respiratory illness that could be severe and life-threatening.

To learn about resources available to quit tobacco, contact Southwestern District Health Unit at 701-483-3760 or visit .

Kayla Henson is a former Dickinson Press reporter.
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