The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

By Meadow Meeder
Healthy Community Specialist 

Coming Events--Community Center in Cathlamet


December 19, 2019

The new year is time when a lot of people set goals; a resolution to themselves to improve some facet of their life. As those of you who read my column already know, I am a huge proponent of taking what you have and making it better. Health, well-being, stress management, mindfulness, social equity, and physical fitness, to name a few, all go hand in hand with my line of work in the prevention field. My goal is to be a source of information to support your well-being, focusing on every aspect of wellness.

Since it is almost 2020, I think maybe this is a good time to clear the air about smoking. As someone who has personally experienced the challenges of ending a relationship with tobacco, I know how difficult quitting can be. The addictive and destructive nature of smoking tobacco is complex and consuming, and it isn’t designed for you to easily drop the habit. It’s a battle worth fighting though. By setting yourself up with a quit-plan, using cessation aides and having support from your friends and family, you can lay the foundation you need to start 2020 healthier and happier.

Washingtonians can get free help to quit smoking or vaping by contacting the Washington State Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or by downloading a quit app at There is also an app called 2morrow that is awesome. It’s a digital health platform that addresses key chronic disease drivers and conditions, and I highly recommend investigating its uses.

The laws for purchasing tobacco will change as of January 1, making the new legal age to buy cigarettes and vapes 21. Here are some other up to date facts that you should know:

• Washington kids and teens are experiencing a vaping epidemic. In 2018, one in five 10th graders and one in three 12th graders reported using vapor products (Healthy Youth Survey).

• Individuals under 21 are particularly vulnerable to the effects of nicotine addiction.

• Most people who smoke begin smoking before age 21—this law will help protect young people from the health consequences of using tobacco, which remains the leading cause of preventable death in Washington.

The truth is, nobody who has ever successfully quit smoking, has regretted it. If you are planning on quitting, if you have thought about quitting or you know you should but don’t know where to start, please check out these resources. Even if you aren’t ready to kick the habit right now, entertain the idea of being healthier and visualize yourself smoke-free. Any forward motion in the right direction is a win.

Be well, Wahkiakum- I’m rooting for you.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” --Mark Twain.


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