Make It Your Resolution to Quit Smoking
The American Lung Association offers up seven tips to help you make that New Year's resolution stick.
While a recent report indicates New Jersey lags behind in funding anti-smoking programs, the American Lung Association wants to help you kick the unhealthy habit.
It knows nicotine addiction is difficult to break—six out of 10 smokers require several quit attempts before stopping—so the American Lung Association has offered seven tips to help you keep your New Year's resolution to quit smoke.
1. Contact your physician or pharmacist about the various types of treatments and over-the-counter and prescription medications available to help you quit smoking.
2. Visit www.lung.org/stop-smoking or call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) for suggestions on various options to help you quit.
3. Take time to plan. Pick a quit date a few weeks in advance and mark it on the calendar. Pick a day when life's extra stresses are not at their peak (perhaps waiting till after the holidays), and stick to that day. As your quit day approaches, gather the medications and tools you need and map out how you are going to handle the situations that make you smoke.
4. Get some exercise every day. 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. Don't quit alone. Plenty of assistance programs are available online, like the American Lung Association's 30-year-old Freedom From Smoking program, and in your community.
"Quitting smoking is the biggest step a smoker can take to improve their health and wellness," said Deb Brown, president and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic. "The New Year is a perfect time for smokers in New Jersey to implement a plan to quit smoking and welcome the health and financial benefits of a smoke-free lifestyle."
A Courier-Post recently reported on a study conducted by the American Cancer Society, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and four other groups that concluded New Jersey ranks 43rd in the nation in funding support of anti-smoking programs—this, despite the Garden State ranking among the top in terms of tobacco taxation.
The report, titled "Up in Smoke: New Jersey Reaps Billions in Revenue from Tobacco While Shortchanging Anti-Smoking Programs," shows anti-smoking spending by the state has dropped from a high of $30 million in one year under Gov. Chistine Whitman in the 1990s to just $1.5 million in 2010 under Gov. Chris Christie.
To reach the American Lung Association in New Jersey, call 908-685-8040.