Letter: Thanks Someone For Quitting Smoking This Thanksgiving

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To the Editor:

This Thanksgiving season, I'd like to remind readers to thank a co-worker, friend or family member who has quit smoking, vaping, or using other nicotine delivery products. Many users say quitting is the hardest thing they have ever done and any amount of recognition can help someone stay quit.

Tobacco is the number one cause of preventable death and disease in Massachusetts. Nicotine is the very addictive substance in tobacco products as well as in e-cigarettes and vapes. As a result, repeated tobacco and nicotine use is not a habit, it's an addiction that should be treated as a chronic relapsing condition. It takes most people with a nicotine addiction several tries to quit for good. So reach out to those who have conquered this addiction. Let them know you are proud of how hard they're working to better their well-being. Thank them for improving their health and the health of the people around them.

If you smoke, vape or use any nicotine delivery product, even though the holidays can be a tough time to quit, they are a great time to get support from your loved ones to help you try to quit. If you have tried in the past, keep trying. You learn something new every time you try to quit. Take advantage of the many resources available in Massachusetts to help you reach your goal.

Tobacco and nicotine users of all kinds can call the MA Smokers Helpline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) to talk with a free quit coach or enroll online through KeepTryingMA.org. The Helpline is open 24 hours each day, seven days a week (excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas). Tobacco and nicotine users can receive a four-week supply of free nicotine replacement help from the patch, gum or lozenge. Online supports include quit planning tools, peer support and motivational text messages.

Smokers who get support and use stop-smoking medicines are nearly three times as likely to quit for good as those who try to quit on their own. Quitting is hard — give thanks to someone in your life for quitting or for trying to quit. Every email, text message, phone call, or encouraging word makes a difference.

Joyce Brewer if the Tobacco-Free Community Partnership program manager for Berkshire Area Health Education Center. She can be reached at jbrewer@berkshireahec.org.

 

 

 

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Community Development Deny Marijuana Dispensary Extra Parking

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A proposed Merril Road marijuana dispensary was denied a parking expansion by the Community Development Board.
 
The board last week denied a request by Slang LLC, doing business as the Bloom Brothers, to amend a special permit for its proposed marijuana dispensary at 392-400 Merril Road / 2 Larch St. that would allow it to construct additional parking adjacent to Larch Street. 
 
Bloom Brother principle Nathan Girard said they originally planned to only have parking on an upper lot, meeting the city's requirements, but felt because parking abundancy is generally an issue at dispensaries there would ultimately be a parking shortage.
 
"We are trying to be proactive with our approach and we just saw that there was going to be a shortage of parking no matter what we did," he said. "So we reached out to our architect to try to find a space that we could do it."
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