November 1, 2014

Make quitting smoking stick

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Quitting smoking is a common New Year’s resolution for residents across the Northeast each year—but it’s easier said than done. Six out of 10 smokers require multiple quit attempts to stop smoking, but planning ahead can greatly improve the likelihood of quitting for good.

“The New Year is a great time to commit to beginning a new, smokefree life,” said Jeff Seyler, president and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “Quitting smoking is the best thing a person can do to improve his or her health and the Lung Association is here to help you be successful.”

The American Lung Association is highlighting proven tips and resources that have helped thousands of people pack in smoking permanently.

1. Seek support. You don’t have to quit alone. Ask family, friends, and co-workers for their help and support. Having someone to take a walk with, or just listen, can give a needed boost. Find support online or in your community. Consider joining a stop-smoking program like Freedom From Smoking Online (www.ffsonline.org) from the American Lung Association. Or visit www.lung.org/stop-smoking or call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) for additional suggestions.

2. Take time to plan. Designate a day to quit on the calendar and stick to it. Avoid peak times of stress, such as the holidays, and gather in advance the tools and medications you will need.

3. Exercise daily. Exercise is proven to help smokers quit. Not only that, it will also combat weight gain and improve mood and energy levels. Walking is a great way to reduce the stress of quitting.

4. Prioritize nutrition and sleep. Eat a balanced diet, drink lots of water and be sure to get plenty of sleep.

5. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They can discuss with you the various over-the-counter or prescription medications available to help you quit.

“Even if you’ve tried to quit smoking before and failed, it’s important not to give up,” said Seyler. “Quitting smoking can take several tries.”

—Observer staff report

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