a lit cigarette

ALA Offers Seven Tips to Quit Smoking This Year

Many people will make New Year's resolutions to quit smoking this year. With the economy in turmoil, quitting smoking is not only good for your health, but also your wallet. Having a solid smoking cessation plan can greatly improve one's chance for success.

The American Lung Association offers tips and resources that have helped thousands of people give up smoking for good:

1. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the different over-the-counter and prescription medications to help you quit smoking.
2. Look into the different kinds of self-help options available to smokers. Visit www.lungusa.org for suggestions.
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.
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-works 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. Consider joining a stop-smoking program like Freedom From Smoking from the American Lung Association.

"Be aware that smokers have different experiences when they quit," said Norman Edelman, M.D. American Lung Association Chief Medical Officer. "Some people may feel tired or even easily excitable. Others may feel lightheaded, nervous or irritable and experience headaches in addition to craving tobacco or sweets. It's important to know that these feelings are normal, and may last for several weeks, but eventually they will pass."

The American Lung Association's Freedom From Smoking program has helped thousands of people quit smoking and is considered the gold standard for its clinically proven techniques. Busy people can participate in Freedom From Smoking Online (www.ffsonline.org) from the comfort and privacy of their home at no cost. This seven step program is also offered in a group setting, as many participants find the support of others a beneficial component of the quitting process. A listing of Freedom From Smoking program locations around the country can be accessed by visiting www.lungusa.org.

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