Let this New Year be Your Time to Quit Smoking

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Stock Photo

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. –Starting a new year with new goals can be exciting. Quitting smoking is a resolution that many smokers set for themselves. Although it’s not always easy, finding new ways to help yourself quit smoking can be a good start. Picking a specific date like New Year’s Day is one great way to start your journey to becoming smokefree. 

Individuals who have tried to quit smoking before should know that it can take between four and seven attempts to finally succeed. Quitting smoking cuts your risk of disease and death, and can leave you feeling stronger and healthier. If you’re one of the nearly 7 in 10 U.S. cigarette smokers who want to quit, why not make your New Year’s resolution to get started in 2019?  

One of the best resources available is someone else who has successfully quit. You can learn from their success, see it’s possible and have someone to support you who can truly relate.

Planning ahead is a major part of successfully quitting smoking. Smokefree.gov offers details on how to create an effective quit plan, including:

  • Picking a quit date. Starting the new year smokefree is a great idea.

  • Letting loved ones know you’re quitting so they can support you.

  • Listing your reasons to quit smoking.

  • Figuring out what triggers make you want to smoke so you can avoid them, especially during the early days of quitting.

  • Having places you can turn to for help, including the free resources listed below.

There are many free resources for people trying to quit smoking:

  • 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569) (for Spanish speakers). This free service offers a lot of resources, including coaching, help with making a quit plan, educational materials, and referrals to other resources where you live.

  • Smokefree TXT. This free 24/7 texting program sends encouragement, advice, and tips to help smokers quit smoking for good. To get started, just text QUIT to 47848, answer a few questions, and you’ll start receiving messages.

  • Online help. This Tips From Former Smokers web page provides helpful online quit resources.

  • Smokefree App. The QuitGuide is a free app that tracks cravings, moods, slips, and smokefree progress to help you understand your smoking patterns and build the skills needed to become and stay smokefree.

Talk to your health care provider about medicines that may help you quit smoking. 

Because cigarettes contain nicotine, a powerfully addictive drug, when you first quit, your body may feel uncomfortable until it adjusts. This is known as withdrawal, and there are medications that can help lessen this feeling and the urge to smoke. Studies show that smokers who use medicine to quit—along with coaching from a quitline, in a group, or from a counselor—have greater odds of succeeding than those who don’t. Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider before using any medications if you:

  • Are pregnant or nursing

  • Have a serious medical condition

  • Are currently using other medications

  • Are younger than 18

Many options are available if you are considering using medications to help you quit smoking. The most common smoking medications are nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs), which give your body the nicotine that it craves without the harmful chemicals found in burning cigarettes. Examples of Food and Drug Administration-approved NRTs that you can buy over the counter include:

  • Nicotine patches

  • Nicotine gum

  • Nicotine lozenges

NRTs that need a prescription include nicotine inhalers and nasal spray. Your doctor can also prescribe medication that does not contain nicotine (such as bupropion or varenicline) to help you quit smoking completely. 

Cascade Health Alliance requires clients to have a prescription for all NRTs, even if buying them over the counter. Chantix is offered free for attending a Freedom from Smoking class. Many health insurance policies cover medications and NRTs, so to check with your insurance provider for more information. 

Even if you don’t smoke yourself, you can use these resources to help a friend or family member become smokefree in 2019.

Press release provided from Klamath County Public Health.

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