For 2012, Resolve to Quit Smoking
< Dec. 28, 2011 > -- What's your New Year's resolution? If you smoke, chances are, you've vowed to quit - again.
Even if you've been unsuccessful at quitting in the past, don't give up. Six in 10 smokers try several times before they are able to quit smoking for good.
"Quitting smoking is the single most important step smokers can take to improve their health," says Norman Edelman, M.D., at the American Lung Association (ALA). "The start of a fresh New Year is a great time for smokers to implement their plan to quit smoking and reap the health and financial benefits of a smoke-free lifestyle."
Mark the day
This time around, to help ensure your success, get ready for the big day by planning ahead. You don't have to quit on January 1, but it helps to set a specific quit date. Choose a day when you won't be under a lot of stress, the ALA says. Once you pick a date, mark it on your calendar.
Talk with your doctor about the various types of over-the-counter and prescription medications available to help people quit smoking. Support groups and quit-smoking classes can also help, especially when used along with nicotine-replacement therapy or quit-smoking medication.
Set up an exercise routine so you work out every day. This will help improve your energy levels and mood, as well as help prevent weight gain, the ALA says. Walking is an ideal way to reduce the stress of quitting. You also need to eat a balanced diet, drink lots of water, and get plenty of sleep.
Ask for support from family, friends, and co-workers. Tell them your plans so they can get behind your effort and offer encouragement.
Once the big day arrives, make sure you've thought of what to do instead of smoking. For example, whenever you want a cigarette, try the four D's:
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Help for Your Smoking Habit
Quitting smoking isn't easy, but it can be done. For most people, the best way to quit is some combination of medicine, a method to change personal habits, and emotional support. Here is a look at some of the main quit-smoking aids:
Always talk with your health care provider to find out more information.
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