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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Nov. 7, 2023: The United States’ immigration policies are currently in flux, especially concerning Latino expatriates. Discriminatory practices like the Remain in Mexico policy have yet to be dismantled entirely. Meanwhile, other Latino migrants must apply for a green card – a process that could take decades. Even after all this, another challenge Latinos must confront upon arrival is adjusting to a new environment. There are new customs, languages, and foods to adapt to—not to mention threats of harassment and racism. Because of this, some immigrants take up smoking as a coping mechanism.

However, this habit runs the risk of developing cardiovascular and lung diseases. Considering the expense of healthcare in the US and smoking’s effects on your overall health and well-being, it’s best to find ways to adjust to American life without cigarette usage.

Here’s how.

Why Latino Immigrants Are More Likely To Smoke
The stressors of the migration process and acclimating are hard on new expatriates. According to a 2023 Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse study, Latino immigrants tend to have high smoking rates during their first year of arrival. This presents an alarming risk of future escalation, which could result in the health dangers mentioned above. The first step for any immigrant is to stop smoking to prevent future escalation.

There are multiple tobacco-free options for smoking cessation, all of which are readily available to people residing in the US. Nicotine pouches are tobacco-free packets that you use by placing one between your gum and upper lip, which release nicotine into the body. A good brand to start with is On! nicotine pouches, as they come in a broad selection of strengths and flavors and are sold as cheaply as $3.49 per can online. This makes it an affordable and flexible option you can try during your first year as an immigrant, even if you’re a heavy smoker. You can also try nicotine patches, nicotine-infused stickers that gradually spread the stimulant across your bloodstream once you apply one onto your skin. Habitrol nicotine pouches can grant you a steady dose for up to 24 hours, freeing you from withdrawal to focus on easing yourself into living in the US.

With lowered cigarette dependence, you can turn to healthier actions to adjust to US life and combat the stress of settling in.

Here are a few you can try.

How To Better Adjust To Life In The US

Practice stress relief tactics

Because of the daily difficulties Latinos face, they likely experience large amounts of stress. Too much stress can lead to physical ailments like chronic pain, headaches, and insomnia. Instead of turning to smoking to combat stress, try healthier strategies for stress management. For example, you can take more walks around your new neighborhood to calm your mind and explore your new home at the same time. You can also learn a new skill, such as yoga and other grounding exercises that require you to focus on your breathing and how your body feels. These can help give you a sense of peace that can combat your stress.

Get counseling

If you find yourself overwhelmed by your life as a new immigrant, you don’t have to go about it alone. Consider seeking expert help to get the best advice on how to adjust. Counseling doesn’t have to be expensive, either. Organizations like the non-profit Hablamos Español and the Pan American Behavioral Health Services of Florida provide free, culturally competent therapy and counseling services. You can even ask to be assigned to a Latino therapist who can comprehend all the issues you face—including, for example, racial microaggressions—and empower you to meet them on your terms.

Join community activities

A fundamental value for Latinos is community-centeredness. Very often, you lose your treasured support system when moving to the US, so it’s essential to build one around you again. There are plenty of ways to do this. Save suggests joining a faith-based group if you’re religious, which grants you an immediate connection with the people and comes with various invitations to serve the community. You can also find people who share your hobbies and make your own group, join a local sports team, or participate in community events like fundraisers so you can meet new people you can rely on over time.

Adjusting to life in the US can be difficult for Latinos, and they may turn to smoking to cope. Using the above strategies, managing that stress can be achieved without turning to tobacco.

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