American Lung Association Offers Seven Tips to Quit Smoking in the New Year

Washington, D.C. (December 15, 2009)

Many people will make New Year's resolutions to quit smoking this year. With a still uncertain economy, quitting smoking is good both for your health and your wallet. Having a solid smoking cessation plan can greatly improve a person's chance for success. The American Lung Association offers tips and resources that have helped thousands of people give up smoking for good:

1.  Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the different over-the-counter and prescription medications to help you quit smoking.

2.  Look into the different options available to help smokers quit. Visit www.lung.org or call 800-548-8252 for suggestions.

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.

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 like Freedom From Smoking (www.ffsonline.org) from the American Lung Association.

"Smokers have different experiences when they quit," said Norman Edelman, M.D. American Lung Association Chief Medical Officer.  "Some people may feel tired or even easily excitable. Others may feel lightheaded, nervous or irritable and experience headaches in addition to craving tobacco or sweets. It's important to know that these feelings are normal, and may last for several weeks, but eventually they will pass."

The American Lung Association's Freedom From Smoking (FFS) program has helped thousands of people quit smoking and is considered the gold standard for its clinically proven techniques.

Busy people can participate in the newly-redesigned Freedom From Smoking Online (www.ffsonline.org) from the comfort and privacy of their home. For no cost, people can choose a Basic FFS Online membership which includes a complete, eight-module program. For minimal cost, a Premium membership includes the eight-module program, access to the online community, and other resources such as message boards and downloadable relaxation exercises.

The multi-step Freedom from Smoking program is also offered in a group setting, as many participants find the support of others a beneficial component of the quitting process.  Individual interested in the group clinic option should contact their local Lung Association.  A complete list of Lung Associations can be found at www.lung.org.

"Quitting smoking is one of the most important things that you can do for your health," added Dr. Edelman. "Half of all regular smokers will die of smoking-related diseases so it's important to plan for and set your quit date as soon as possible. The American Lung Association offers the best tools and resources available."

Note to Editors: Experts in quitting smoking are available for comment.

About the American Lung Association: Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading 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 the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit www.lung.org.

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