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Truckers and smoking habits

9/22/2017

Many truckers wish to kick the cigarette habit

Everyone has that habit they wish to break. For some, adapting lifestyle habits can be very easy; set the alarm 10 minutes earlier, remember to take a walk after dinner and fit exercise into the day. Others, especially those who smoke, can find it extremely difficult to take cigarettes out of the equation.

Quitting smoking is possible
Many truckers are smokers, and industry professionals have given their support to programs that can encourage people to kick the habit. At this year's Great American Trucking show, the "Rigs Without Cigs" initiative was launched, according to Thetrucker.com. Designed to help truckers and their spouses, if need be, successfully quit smoking, the year long effort began on September 1. Those who missed the deadline need not worry - any interested parties can enter on a quarterly basis. Anyone involved receives incentives in the form of prizes, access to a Facebook support group and can participate in a conference call with the program organizer at the start of each quarter, the source noted. Many truckers do experience health problems related to the habit, and quitting smoking may improve their quality of life.

E-cigarettes just as ill-advised
Some smokers believe that vaping and e-cigarettes are not as detrimental to health as traditional, tobacco cigarettes. However, last year, the The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration warned commercial vehicle operators of the dangers surrounding e-cigarette use. Items like electronic cigarettes, cigars, hookahs and other battery-powered devices carry an increased risk of explosion due to a burning battery case, in some instances. The organization further warned that individuals have been harmed by fires from such devices and and asked that users exercise caution. Even though these items are smokeless, truckers and those who work at docks or at carriers should obey any smoking regulations or use an electronic cigarette around fuel or around the vehicle itself.

The dangers of e-cigarette use may not be enough to put someone off for good; quitting smoking is a very personal decision that some people can not be frightened into. However, when the time does come to stop smoking for good, there are many ways that truck drivers can receive support.

How to quit
With long hours alone on the road, it is understandable that some truck drivers will pick up smoking. The American Lung Association advises that individuals who are looking to quit the habit should speak with a doctor in order to receive professional guidance. Smokers can then set a quit date, and ask family and friends for support. Drivers may want to ask loved ones to check in with them, periodically, throughout the day, just to have that little bit of extra support. Some may find that using smoking cessation aids such as nicotine patches may help in the beginning, but this should be done with guidance from a medical professional. The source explained that the first five to 10 days will be the most difficult, so to make quitting easier it may be wise to schedule a quit date during a visit home where temptations may be diminished.

According to the Association, between 4 and 7 percent of smokers choose to quit "cold turkey" meaning they simply just stop. It can be helpful to have a diet and exercise plan in place to bring in a new focus once smoking has ceased.

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