URMC Smoking Cessation Experts: Plan Now to Quit for New Year’s
Success Comes After Making a Plan, Receiving Support from Loved Ones
December 17, 2009
If you’re a smoker who’s considering quitting as part of your new year’s resolutions, you may want to start creating your plan for success.
“Research shows that if a person makes a plan, builds a support system of family, friends and professionals, that they have a greater chance of successfully quitting smoking and beating nicotine addiction,” said Scott McIntosh, Ph.D., director of the Greater Rochester Area Tobacco Cessation Center and associate director of the Smoking Research Program at the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center at the University of Rochester Medical Center. “Quitting smoking is the best decision anyone can make to improve their overall health.”
Earlier this month, the World Health Organization reported that smoking contributes to the deaths of 5 million people each year.
Twelve simple tips for quitting:
- Make a plan for quitting. Talk your doctor about strategies such as cold turkey versus nicotine replacement therapies.
- If you can give up cigarettes for 24 hours, you double your chance for success.
- Tell your friends, family and co-workers that you plan to quit and rally them to help you stick with it.
- Consider using nicotine replacements – gum, patch or Zyban – to help you quit.
- Use resources available from the New York State Smokers’ Quitline: 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) and www.nysmokefree.com the New York Smokers’ Quitsite.
- Avoid risky situations or behaviors that were comfortable when smoking.
- Remove all ashtrays, lighters, matches and cigarettes from the house. Just seeing them can make you want to smoke.
- Start eating sugarless hard candy or chewing crunchy vegetables – like carrot sticks – to keep your mouth busy. Consider using cinnamon candy, because its “burning” sensation mimics the feeling of smoking and kills the craving.
- Drink a lot of water. It helps keep you feeling “full,” and prevents you from overeating and gaining weight. It also helps “cleanse” your body of the toxins from years of smoking.
- Practice breathing deeply or take a walk when you’re craving a cigarette. Smoking involves taking long deep breaths, but now it’ll be fresh air rather than chemicals entering your lungs.
- Remind yourself why you are quitting - and reward yourself every day you make it without smoking cigarettes.
- Age doesn’t matter - older smokers are less likely to try to quit, but when they do try, they are more likely to succeed.