Help for the 70% of smokers that report wanting to quit
One of the most popular resolutions at the beginning of each year is the desire to quit smoking, with more than 70% of smokers reporting they want to quit.
Smoking is a risk factor for severe illness from COVID-19, which makes 2021 an even more opportune time to begin the journey to quitting. With the help of the American Lung Association, more than a million people have achieved success quitting smoking.
Here are five tips to help quit smoking this new year:
Use a plan that is proven to be both safe and effective. Despite what Juul and other e-cigarette companies want you to believe, switching to vaping (e-cigarettes) is not quitting smoking. E-cigarettes are tobacco products, they contain nicotine, and FDA has not approved any e-cigarette as a quit smoking device.
Learn from past experiences. Most smokers have tried to quit before and sometimes people get discouraged thinking about previous attempts. Instead, treat those experiences as steps on the road to future success. Think about what helped you during those tries and what you’ll do differently in your next quit attempt.
You don’t have to quit alone. Enrolling in a tobacco counseling program, such as Lung Association’s Freedom From Smoking®, can increase your chances of success by up to 60% when used in combination with medication.
Talk to a doctor about quit smoking medications. Talking to a doctor can significantly increase your chances of quitting successfully. There are seven FDA-approved quit smoking medications that can help you quit. Just make sure to follow the directions and use them for the full duration they are prescribed.
Every smoker can quit. Find the right combination of techniques for you and above all, keep trying. Slip-ups – having a puff or smoking one or two cigarettes – are common but don’t mean that a quitter has failed. The important thing is to keep trying to quit.
“The COVID-19 pandemic presents an opportunity for people, when they’re ready, to find the proven quit smoking support they need,” said American Lung Association President and CEO Harold Wimmer. “Quitting smoking will immediately improve your health and might also decrease your odds of severe illness from COVID-19. It’s the perfect way to set yourself up for a healthy new year and healthy years to come.”
Freedom From Smoking can be accessed online, at a virtual group clinic, by phone at 1-800-LUNG-USA and through a self-guided workbook. Ranked as the most effective smoking cessation program in a study of 100 managed care organizations conducted at Fordham University Graduate School of Business, Freedom From Smoking has helped hundreds of thousands participants quit smoking.
For more information about quitting smoking and how to access Freedom From Smoking, visit the Lung Association website at Lung.org/ffs or call the free Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872). For media interested in speaking with an expert, contact James A. Martinez at James.Martinez@Lung.org or 312-445-2501.