This holiday season, many New Yorkers will make the New Year's resolution to quit smoking in 2012. While quitting smoking is extremely difficult - six out of 10 smokers require multiple quit attempts to stop smoking - preparing a quit-smoking plan can greatly improve a person's chance for success.
The following are proven tips and resources from the American Lung Association that have helped thousands of people give up smoking for good:
1. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the various types of treatments and different over-the-counter and prescription medications that are available to help you quit smoking.
3. Take time to plan. Pick your quit date a few weeks ahead of time and mark it on the calendar. If you can, pick a day when life's extra stresses are not at their peak, such as after the holidays. Mark a day on the calendar and stick to it. As your quit day approaches, gather the medications and tools you need and map out how you are going to handle the situations that make you want to smoke.
4. Get some exercise every day. Walking is a great way to reduce the stress of quitting. Exercise is proven to not only combat weight gain, but also to improve mood and energy levels.
5. Eat a balanced diet, drink lots of water and get plenty of sleep.
6. 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.
7. You don't have to quit alone. Help is available online and in your community. Consider joining a stop-smoking program such as "Freedom From Smoking" (www.ffsonline.org) from the American Lung Association.
"There is nothing better a smoker can do for his or her health than quit smoking," said Irwin Berlin, M.D., board chair of the American Lung Association in New York. "As the new year approaches, it is a great time for smokers to set their quit dates and gather the resources they need to make their quit attempt successful."
Helping Americans quit smoking remains a public health priority for the American Lung Association. Its "Freedom From Smoking" group clinic program, which began in 1981 and includes a comprehensive variety of evidence-based cessation techniques, has helped hundreds of thousands of smokers quit. The American Lung Association more recently introduced "Freedom From Smoking Online," a highly successful, self-paced online adaptation of the group clinic that is available 24 hours a day.
"Freedom From Smoking Online" is available to anyone who wants to quit smoking and can be accessed at any time at ffsonline.org. Additionally, the premium version of the program - which offers users the ability to download relaxation exercises, have full access to the FFS online community, including its message boards, blogs and other social networking capabilities - can be given as a gift to a friend or family member who wants to quit smoking.
"We want smokers to know that they can conquer smoking and that help is available," Berlin said. "Research has shown that those who develop a support system and use programs like 'Freedom From Smoking Online' have greater success in quitting for good."
About the American Lung Association in New York
Now in its second century, the American Lung Association in New York is the leading statewide organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is "Fighting for Air" through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association, or to support its work, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit www.alany.org.