Thank you for not smoking

Marlboro Cigarettes

Wouldn't you like to quit these? (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

  A discussion on new year’s resolutions would not be complete without talking about smoking. The beginning of a new year is often the time folks choose to quit smoking – the old proverbial clean slate and so on. Although I’ve never been a smoker myself, a lot of my patients are and I get to talk with them about quitting smoking a fair amount, especially this time of year. Quitting smoking is not easy but there’s a lot out there to help smokers kick the habit. Everything from nicotine replacement products, most available without a prescription, to prescription meds that block the pleasurable effects of smoking, to hypnotism, acupuncture and the old favorite quitting so-called “cold turkey.” (If anyone can accurately share the origin of that phrase, besides the Wikipedia version, I’d love to hear it in comments.)

If quitting smoking is on your new year’s resolution list, here’s a few tips. You can find more at:

Set a quit date. For changing any behavior, planning ahead and setting a time to start not only psyches you up for the change, but starts you on the road to success.

If you use nicotine replacement, make sure you pick the right dose. Read the package directions and be realistic about how much you currently smoke – that’s how you choose what dose of patch to start.

Follow-through. If you’re using patches, gum, or lozenges, plan on 12 weeks of use. For Chantix, plan on 24 weeks of use. Some people try to use less to save money, but buying 12 weeks of patches is still cheaper than 12 weeks of cigarettes.

Try, try again. I’ve heard many people say “Quitting is easy, I’ve done it hundreds of times.” If you don’t succeed, form a new plan and start over.

Get a buddy. Whether it’s diet, exercise or smoking cessation, it’s always easier with a buddy for support. And if your spouse or partner smokes, you’ll have more success if you both quit together.

For you and for your health, I wish you success.

(Disclaimer: Huffygirl has no association with any smoking cessation products.)

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