Making a New Year’s resolution on January 1st can be one of the most exciting things about ending one year and starting the next. If you’re one of the nearly 7 in 10 U.S. smokers who want to quit, why not make a resolution to get started in 2017? Smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, and quitting now can cut your risk and leave you feeling stronger and healthier.
Former smokers encourage anyone who wants to quit smoking to do it—and to get help. You can find additional support from friends as well as from your family. You’re going to need support, because it’s not always easy but the main thing is, you really have to want to quit
Develop a Quit Plan – Most smokers who want to quit try several times before they succeed, but you can take steps that can improve your chances. Planning ahead is a major part of successfully quitting smoking. Smokefree.gov offers details on how to create an effective quit plan, including:
• Picking a quit date. Starting the New Year smokefree is a great idea.
• Letting loved ones know you’re quitting so they can support you.
• Listing your reasons to quit smoking.
• Figuring out what triggers make you want to smoke so you can avoid them, especially during the early days.
• Having places you can turn to for help right away, including the free resources listed below.
Use Free, Effective Resources – There are many free resources for people trying to quit smoking:
• 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569) (for Spanish speakers). This free service offers a lot of resources, including coaching, help with making a quit plan, educational materials, and referrals to other resources where you live.
• https://smokefree.gov/tools-tips/smokefreetxt-signup – This free 24/7 texting program sends encouragement, advice, and tips to help smokers quit smoking for good. To get started, just text QUIT to 47848, answer a few questions, and you’ll start receiving messages.
• https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/quit-smoking/quitting-resources.html – This Tips From Former Smokers web page provides helpful online quit resources.
• https://smokefree.gov/apps-quitguide – The QuitGuide is a free app that tracks cravings, moods, slips, and smokefree progress to help you understand your smoking patterns and build the skills needed to become and stay smokefree.
Ask Your Medical Provider – Many options are available if you are considering using medications to help you quit smoking. The most common smoking medications are nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs), which give your body a little of the nicotine that it craves without the harmful chemicals found in burning cigarettes. Examples of Food and Drug Administration-approved NRTs that you can buy over the counter include: Nicotine patches, Nicotine gum and Nicotine lozenges. NRTs that need a prescription include nicotine inhalers and nasal spray. Your doctor can also prescribe medication that does not contain nicotine (such as bupropion or varenicline) to help you quit smoking completely.
The Shingletown Medical Center wishes you a Healthy and Happy 2017!