Letter: Make this the last year you resolve to quit smoking

 

To the Editor,
If you are reading this, it’s likely that you or a loved one is considering making an attempt to quit smoking after the ball dropped on New Year’s Eve. Quitting smoking is a common New Year’s resolution for Americans each year, but it’s easier said than done. The average smoker who quits successfully makes several quit attempts before quitting for good.

We want all smokers to know that we are here to support them every step of the way in their efforts to quit for good. You can quit whether it’s your first time trying or your tenth. The important thing is not to give up. The Lung Association has launched the “Quitter in You” campaign to empower people trying to quit smoking by acknowledging that past quit attempts are not failures, but are normal and necessary steps along the path to success.

We encourage smokers who are making the resolution to quit smoking to visit QuitterInYou.org. Learn about the various ways we can help smokers quit. More than 43 million Americans—one out of every five—are current smokers.

Most smokers say they want to quit and many will make a New Year’s Resolution to quit in 2014. If this is your year to quit, here are five tips to help you along the way:

Learn from past experiences. Most smokers have tried to quit in the past and sometimes people get discouraged thinking about previous attempts.

You don’t have to quit alone. Telling friends that you’re trying to quit and enlisting their support will help ease the process. Expert help is available from the American Lung Association and other groups. Friends who also smoke may even join you in trying to quit.

Medication can help, if you know what to do. The seven FDA-approved medications, like nicotine patches or gum, really do help smokers quit. Most folks don’t use them correctly, so be sure to follow the directions.

In addition to these tips, the Lung Association is launching a Countdown 2 Quit campaign. Follow along on Twitter via #Countdown2Quit to learn even more tips as we approach the New Year.

Quitting isn’t easy, but 50 million ex-smokers in the United States can tell you it’s possible. Make 2014 the year you begin a new, smoke-free life.

Jeff Seyler,
President and CEO,
American Lung Association of the Northeast