Quit Smoking for New Year’s: 7 Tips for Success

(December 21, 2010)

Did you or someone you love resolve to quit smoking for New Year’s?  The American Lung Association is here to help you keep that resolution. January is the perfect time for a fresh start, and with today’s economic challenges, quitting smoking is not only good for your health, it’s good for your wallet. At current prices, when a pack-a-day smoker quits, it’s like getting a $2000 bonus—tax free—every year! Having a solid plan can be the key. Here are seven tips for success and resources that have helped thousands give up smoking for good:

  • Talk to your doctor about the different over-the-counter and prescription medications and various types of treatments available to help you quit smoking.
  • Look into the different options available to help smokers quit. Visit www.lung.org for tools like our Freedom From Smoking® Online.
  • 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 that isn’t stressful, such as after the holidays. As your Quit Day approaches, gather the medications and tools you need and map out how you’re going to handle situations that make you want to smoke.
  • 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 improves mood and energy levels.
  • Eat a balanced diet; drink lots of water and get plenty of sleep.
  • 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.
  • You don’t have to quit alone. Help is available. Consider joining a stop-smoking program like Freedom From Smoking® offered by the American Lung Association.

For even more help, call our Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNG-USA. Our nurses and respiratory therapists can provide expert advice on quitting smoking.
“Be aware that smokers have different experiences when they quit,” says Norman Edelman, M.D. American Lung Association Chief Medical Officer. “Some may feel tired or even easily excitable. Others may feel lightheaded, nervous or irritable and experience headaches in addition to craving tobacco or sweets. Know these feelings are normal and may last for several weeks, but eventually they will pass.”

The American Lung Association’s Freedom From Smoking® program has helped hundreds of thousands quit smoking and is considered the gold standard for smoking cessation programs.  This program is offered over eight sessions in a group setting, since the support of others is a beneficial component of the quitting process. And perfect for today’s busy world is Freedom From Smoking® Online (http://www.ffsonline.org/) which brings the same proven program into the comfort and privacy of your own home.

“Quitting smoking is one of the most important that things that you can do for your health,” adds Dr. Edelman. “The earlier you quit the better, but it’s important to remember that it’s never too late to quit. The American Lung Association offers the best tools and resources available.”