By: Kayla Gamino (UNIFIED Tobacco Treatment Specialist)
An ample part of UNIFIED’s tobacco reduction program includes creating quit kits for clients. During the initial assessment, we bring out the quit kit while discussing possible quit dates. Each client accessing tobacco reduction services receives 1 quit kit for their time working with the tobacco treatment specialist. Each quit kit includes: a journal, pens, candy/gum, educational tools, and fidget toys.
Journal- The journal is an especially important piece of the quit kit. The journal is a good tool to help keep track of a person’s smoking habits prior to their quit date. Many clients use it to write down when they have cravings, what they are doing when they have cravings, and how they are feeling when they have a craving. This will help the tobacco treatment specialist and client to better come up with coping mechanisms and a quit plan together for when the client experiences cravings. For example, if Mike records that he has a craving every time he is feeling bored then coming up with things for Mike to do while he is bored can help combat cravings.
Pens- The pens are good for when the client needs to journal. We put 2-3 different colored pens in each quit kit to make it easier for the client to be able to journal. Pens can also act as a fidget toy.
Candy/Gum- Each quit kit comes with a variety of candy. We use Twizzlers, Life Savers, and mints normally. The Twizzlers can help with the hand to mouth habit of smoking. It is a similar shape to a cigarette. The Life Savers, mints, and gum are good at combating the oral fixation that often comes with smokers.
Educational Tools- In each quit kit, we put a pamphlet for the Michigan Tobacco Quit Line. In the pamphlet, it gives little facts on how smoking affects the body as well as the number to the Quit Line for clients to utilize. We also include a UNIFIED Tobacco Services palm card that has contact information and HIV and Tobacco use facts. As an added bonus, we include the Michigan HIV/STD Hotline number.
Fidget Toys- Each quit kit includes rubber bands that are used by switching wrists when a craving occurs. It helps to keep the hands and mind busy. Additionally, each client gets to choose another fidget toy. We have two different options. One is a bike chain fidget toy that is small enough to fit in a pants pocket. The other is a Bendeez toy that can be molded into different shapes. Both are used to help combat boredom and keep the hands and mind busy.
All of these items have gotten positive feedback from current tobacco clients. If you are a current tobacco user and you think that a quit kit would be beneficial to your quit/reduction attempt, please contact UNIFIED- HIV Health and Beyond to meet with a Tobacco Treatment Specialist!