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Expert Advice

Stop Smoking for Real!

Rosanne Ullman | January 19, 2014 | 11:41 AM

Nearly 70 percent of adult smokers would like to become nonsmokers, according to City of Hope. If 2014 is your year to quit, don’t be discouraged if you’re having trouble! That’s to be expected with a challenging goal like giving up cigarettes, and you still have plenty of time to make this your year to start living healthier. If you’re younger than 35 you get an added benefit—after you give up smoking you’ll have roughly the same life expectancy as someone who never smoked, according to the Centers for Disease Control, which recommends:

*Get rid of ashtrays and all tobacco products in your home, car and workplace.
*Ask people not to smoke around you.
*Change your routine by doing something like eating breakfast in a different place or taking a new route to work.
*When you feel like smoking, distract yourself by taking a walk, reading or exercising.
*Ask friends and family for any support they can give you.

City of Hope’s Brian Tiep, M.D., director of pulmonary rehabilitation and smoking cessation, and Rachel Dunham, M.S.N., nurse practitioner for smoking cessation and lung cancer screening, advise talking to your doctor about finding a smoking cessation program with medical professionals who specialize in helping people to quit smoking. And don’t skip an appointment if you start smoking again; that’s when it’s most important to attend the program, because you need help and support. Tiep and Dunham add that medications such as nicotine replacement, Zyban and Chantix can help you to manage withdrawal symptoms.

“Be passionate about your goal,” Tiep recommends. “Quitting is something that should occupy your mind.” Relapses are common; in fact, most people who have quit tried multiple times before achieving success, according to Tiep and Dunham. Be patient, be persistent and accept that it will take time and effort to quit smoking for good.

City of Hope can help you find a support group. Click here for the full article and more information.

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