The lung association offers these tips to help smokers quit:
- Set a firm quit date.
- Throw away all tobacco products, ashtrays and lighters.
- Stock up on low-calorie snacks and sugar-free gum and mints.
- Anticipate risky situations.
- Practice deep breathing.
- Consider nicotine replacement therapy – the patch, gum or lozenge.
- Create a support system.
Cox advises that smokers not be afraid to ask for help.
“Know that it’s going to be hard at first, but it gets easier,” she said.
She also warns that many of the casual smokers she knew are now regular smokers.
“Once addiction grabs hold of you, it’s a tight grip. It’s hard to let go of that,” she said.
Quitting resources suggested by the American Lung Association:
- Quitter in You. www.QuitterInYou.org
- American Lung Association HelpLine. (800) 586-4872 or www.lungusa.org/about-us/lung-helpline.html
- Freedom From Smoking Online. www.ffsonline.org
- Quitline Iowa. (800) 784-8669 or www.quitlineiowa.org
- Primary Health Care, Inc. Free counseling and a 12-week supply of medications in the Des Moines area and Marshalltown. (515) 248-1500 or www.phcinc.net