The American Cancer Society is marking the 35th Great American Smokeout on Thursday, November 18 by encouraging smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. By doing so, smokers will be taking an important step towards a healthier life, one that can lead to reducing cancer risk. Quitting smoking is not easy, but it can be done. To have the best chance of quitting successfully, you need to know what you're up against, what your options are, and where to go for help.
Studies have shown that these five steps will help you quit and quit for good. You have the best chances of quitting if you use them together.
1. Get Ready
2. Get Support and Encouragement Studies have shown that you have a better chance of being successful if you have help. You can get support in many ways:
3. Learn New Skills and Behaviors
4. Get Medication and Use It Correctly Medications can help you stop smoking and lessen the urge to smoke.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved seven medications to help you quit smoking:
Ask your health care provider for advice and carefully read the information on the package. All of these medications will at least double your chances of quitting and quitting for good. Nearly everyone who is trying to quit can benefit from using a medication. However, if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, nursing, under age 18, smoking fewer than 10 cigarettes per day, or have a medical condition, talk to your doctor or other health care provider before taking medications.
For information on FDA-approved medications, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW. To find out more about prescriptions, contact your health care provider.
5. Be Prepared for Relapse or Difficult Situations Most relapses occur within the first three months after quitting. Don't be discouraged if you start smoking again. Remember, most people try several times before they finally quit. The following are some difficult situations you may encounter:
If you are having problems with any of these situations, talk to your doctor or other health-care provider. For more information on quitting, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit www.smokefree.gov.
Use the following on-campus resources if you would like more information about the Smokeout or quitting smoking: the Office of Health and Wellness Education, Counseling and Psychological Services, and Health Services.