The American Lung Association offers tips to help anyone trying to quit smoking.

Resolved to Quit Smoking? ALA Can Help

The American Lung Association says its smoking cessation program, Freedom From Smoking (www.ffsonline.org), and similar programs can succeed. Six other tips from ALA can help with this New Year's resolution.

The American Lung Association posted a tip sheet Tuesday to help anyone who is making a New Year's resolution this year to quit smoking. ALA has helped thousands of people give up smoking with its Freedom From Smoking (www.ffsonline.org) smoking cessation program and other assistance.

Here are its tips:

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 options available to help smokers quit. Visit www.lungusa.org or call 800-548-8252 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-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 such as Freedom From Smoking.

"Smokers have different experiences when they quit," said Dr. Norman Edelman, the association's 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."

"Quitting smoking is one of the most important things that you can do for your health," he said. "Half of all regular smokers will die of smoking-related diseases, so it's important to plan for and set your quit date as soon as possible."

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