Nearly 70 percent of current smokers say they want to quit smoking, but quitting smoking and staying smokefree throughout the year is hard. The American Lung Association has proven tips to help smokers quit for good this New Year.
It’s that time of year again. Along with hitting the gym more often and starting a diet, quitting smoking tops many New Year’s resolution lists. Nearly 70 percent of current smokers say they want to quit smoking, but quitting smoking and staying smokefree throughout the year is hard. The American Lung Association has proven tips to help smokers be successful in the long run.
1. Write Down Your Reasons to Quit Smoking. Every smoker has their own personal motivation for quitting. Whether it be for your health or the health of your family, the money you’ll save, or removing the hassle of smoking, write your personal reasons down. Keep them in your back pocket, on the refrigerator door, or in the car so you keep your motivation nearby throughout your quit.
2. Choose a Quit Date. Setting a quit date a few weeks or a month in the future can give you the time you need to prepare for a successful quit smoking attempt. Through the American Lung Association’s Freedom From Smoking® program (freedomfromsmoking.org), participants learn how to set a quit date and build a quit plan that accommodates their personality and lifestyle.
3. Identify Your Smoking Triggers. Start to notice when, where and why you have the urge to smoke, and write them down. You’ll start to see a pattern, and then can make a plan to avoid or adapt the behaviors that trigger that urge, and how to work through that moment. The urge to smoke will pass in three to five minutes—whether you smoke or not.
4. Talk to a Doctor. Advice and support from a healthcare provider, which includes counseling and medication, can double the odds of successfully quitting smoking. A healthcare provider can help with a quit plan and provide information on quit smoking medications that may be helpful. Through Quitter’s Circle (quitterscircle.com), a mobile app and social community from the American Lung Association and Pfizer, users can access resources to have a smoking cessation conversation with a healthcare provider or connect with one online or in person.
5. Build a Support Team. In a 2015 survey, 80 percent of smokers trying to quit said that support from family, friends, significant others and even coworkers is very important to successfully quit smoking. They can be those necessary cheerleaders and motivators during the toughest parts of a quit smoking attempt. Quitters can invite supporters to join their Quit Team through the Quitter’s Circle mobile app (quitterscircle.com/quit-smoking-app), and encourage them to watch their progress in real time – keeping their quit on track.
6. Keep Trying – Even if You have a Slip-Up. It can take several quit smoking attempts before someone becomes completely smokefree. Slip-ups – having a puff, or smoking one or two cigarettes – are common but slip-ups don’t mean that a quitter has failed. Each person needs to find the right combination of techniques for them. The important thing is to keep trying.
Quitting isn’t easy but over 50 million ex-smokers in the United States have succeeded, so it’s achievable. For more information about quit smoking resources, visit Lung.org/stop-smoking or call the Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA to talk to a certified tobacco treatment specialist.
It can take several quit smoking attempts before someone becomes completely smokefree. Slip-ups – having a puff, or smoking one or two cigarettes – are common but slip-ups don’t mean that a quitter has failed