Making a New Year’s resolution is one of the most exciting things about the start of the new year. It’s a time to stop thinking about what you’re going to do and start doing it. If you’re one of the 7 in 10 U.S. smokers who want to quit smoking, why not make a resolution to get started in 2018? According to the CDC, smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States. Quitting now can cut your risk of disease and leave you feeling stronger and healthier.
Develop a Quit Plan
Most smokers who want to quit try several times before they succeed. You can take steps to improve your chances of success. Planning ahead is a major part of tobacco cessation success. Ask yourself these four questions:
- When will your quit date be? January 1st, is an awesome date to pick.
- Who will you tell? Letting your loved ones know you’ve quit can give you the support and accountability you need.
- Why do you want to quit smoking? Make a list and read over it everyday as inspiration to keep away from cigarettes.
- What makes you want to smoke? Is it stress? Boredom? Figuring out what triggers you to smoke makes it easier to avoid those triggers, especially when you first quit.
Use Free, Effective Resources
The CDC lists these as their go to free resources for people who have decided 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.
- Smokefree TXT. 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.
- Online help. This Tips From Former Smokers web page provides helpful online quit resources.
- Smokefree App. The QuitGuide is a free app that tracks cravings, moods, slips, and smoke free programs to help you understand your smoking patterns and build the skills needed to become and stay smokefree.
Find Out Which Medications Work For You
Talk to your healthcare provider about medicines to help you quit smoking. Nicotine is the powerfully addictive chemical in cigarettes that makes it so hard to quit. When you first quit, your body will feel uncomfortable until it adjusts. This is known as withdrawal. Smokers experience withdrawal in different ways, but the most common side effects include:
- flu-like symptoms
- unusual dreams
- mental fatigue
- intense cravings
Withdrawal is your body’s normal response when adjusting to normal levels of chemicals in your brain.
Thankfully, some medications help wean you off the nicotine. The most common smoking medications are nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs). NRTs give your body a little of the nicotine that it craves without the harmful chemicals found in cigarettes. These medications help lessen withdrawal and the urge to smoke:
- Nicotine patches
- Nicotine gum
- Nicotine lozenges
- Nicotine inhalers (prescription required)
- Nasal spray (prescription required)
Studies have found smokers who use medications in addition to counseling, coaching from a quitline, or participation in a recovery group have the most success quitting.
If you want to quit smoking, but don’t know where to start, give us a call at (662) 348-3342 . We’ll be happy to schedule an appointment for you.