With New Year fast approaching, even die hard smokers start to give the habit a second thought. Giving up smoking is one of the more popular resolutions for the holiday season, as we think about ways to make positive changes for the coming year.
Giving up smoking can be extremely difficult for people, with bad moods, cravings and that lightheaded feeling propelling people to rush and buy a pack even weeks after they successfully stopped.
However, experts say that smokers should prepare a plan of attack to help them quit, and get over those moments of weakness.
Norman H. Edelman, M.D., chief medical officer of the American Lung Association said :
“Quitting smoking is the single most important step smokers can take to improve their health … The start of a fresh New Year is a great time for smokers to implement their plan to quit smoking … and reap the health and financial benefits of a smokefree lifestyle.”
The Seven recommendations from the American Lung Association are :
1. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the various types of treatments and different over-the-counter and prescription medications that are available to help you quit smoking.
2. Look into the different options available to help smokers quit.
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. 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 want to smoke.
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® from the American Lung Association.
Dr. Edelman said :
“Smokers don’t have to go it alone when they attempt to quit smoking … In fact, research shows that people who develop a support system and use programs like Freedom From Smoking® Online have greater success in quitting for good, compared to those who try to quit “cold turkey.”