Top “Tips to Quit” for the New Year

Monday, December 26, 2011 - 11:40am
NYS Smokers’ Quitline

At the NYS Smokers’ Quitline, we know that quitting can be difficult. For most smokers, smoking is a part of your daily routine. Just waking up in the morning can be enough to make you crave a cigarette. The good news about quitting is that it’s going to make you feel so much better. Climbing stairs will be easier, you’ll be able to be more active without getting as tired, and if you have children or pets you will be saving them from harmful secondhand-smoke exposure. Another bonus is that you will be saving a lot of money; in fact, a pack-a-day smoker in New York could save up to $3,700 a year!

Everyone knows that smoking causes cancer, heart disease and a lot of other illnesses. That is why quitting smoking is the single most important thing you can do to improve your health. A lot of people have successfully quit, and so can you! In fact, today in the US there are more former smokers than current smokers. The New Year is coming and you can join thousands of other smokers who have resolved to quit in 2012.

Here are some tips to help you meet your goal this New Year:

Identify your reason(s) for wanting to quit 
Maybe it is your health, to save money, or you are tired of being hooked. Identifying personal reasons for wanting to quit will keep you motivated through difficult cravings. Write the reasons down so that you can glance at them whenever you get the urge to light up.

Set a quit date
Set your quit date for sometime in the near future; maybe within a couple of weeks to a month. Setting a goal date will help mentally prepare you, gives you a chance to warm up to the idea of quitting and provides time to create your a quit plan.

Make a quit plan
Quitting is a process—it won’t happen overnight. Some items to have in your quit plan include:

  • Your reason(s) for quitting
  • Target quit date
  • List of any stop-smoking medications you will get
  • Sources of support, such as friends and family
  • A list of activities to fend off cravings

Medications
There are stop-smoking medications that can help take the edge off. It can be nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) such as patches, gum, lozenges, nicotine nasal spray and inhaler, or prescription medicine like Chantix or Zyban.

The NYS Smokers’ Quitline does provide a starting supply of nicotine patches; smokers can call us at 1-866-697-8487 or go online at www.nysmokefree.com and answer a few questions to see if you qualify.

Identify triggers
A trigger is anything (i.e. people, places, things) that urges you to light up. By identifying your triggers, you can prepare yourself for those dangerous times. Common triggers include alcohol, driving, coffee and boredom.

Seek moral support
If you have family and friends who are trying to quit or who don’t smoke, they can positively affect your quit plan and help you be successful.

Remember, it’s okay to slip up
As you prepare to quit smoking, remember that slips back to smoking are part of the process. It’s okay if you slip, most smokers do, but it is important that you get right back on track and don’t let the slip derail your quitting process.

Quitting smoking for the New Year is a good idea. You’ll be healthier and glad you did! Don’t forget to contact the Quitline at 1-866-NY-Quits or www.nysmokefree.com for help. Have a happy smoke-free New Year

Tips to Quit on The Healthy Zone
Janet Snyder, host of WGRZ's The Healthy Zone, interviews RPCI's Patricia Bax about ways to kick the smoking habit.