Among the most difficult New Year’s Resolutions to keep is to stop smoking. A recent survey found that more than 93 percent of smokers and non-smokers agree: quitting smoking is difficult.
The American Lung Association provides the following tips to snuff out the habit in the new year.
1. Make a quit plan Only 4 percent to 7 percent of smokers who try to quit cold turkey are successful in remaining smoke-free for up to one year. The way to success is to create a plan that fits the smoker’s quit goals and unique lifestyle. Through the American Lung Association’s Freedom From Smoking program (lung.org/stop-smoking), participants learn how to set a quit date, address smoking triggers and urges, and how to stay motivated throughout the duration of a quit attempt.
2. Talk to a doctor Advice and support from a healthcare provider can double the odds of successfully quitting smoking. A healthcare provider can help create 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 connect with a healthcare provider online or in person.
3. Join a support group Whether in-person or online, connect with someone who is going through a similar quit attempt during a similar time frame. The first seven to 10 days of a quit attempt are the toughest and leaning on others during those early days can be beneficial. More than 140,000 members of the Quitter’s Circle social community regularly cheer on their members during their quit, and in-person support groups through Freedom From Smoking (ffsonline.org)and other efforts offer routine check-ins to foster these types of relationships.
4. Involve family and friends Four of every five of smokers said that support from family, friends, significant others and even coworkers is very important to successfully quit smoking. They can be your cheerleaders and motivators throughout the duration of the quit. Quitters can invite their supporters to join a Quit Team through the Quitter’s Circle mobile app, and encourage them to watch their progress in real time – keeping their quit on track.
5. Try, try again It can take several quit smoking attempts before someone becomes completely smoke-free, but every smoker can quit. Slip-ups – having a puff, or smoking one or two cigarettes – are common but 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 to quit, until you quit for good.
For more information about quit smoking resources, visit the Lung Association website or call the Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA.