Advantages Of Quitting

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Lillian DeBrock remembers the day she quit smoking. It was April 21, 2012, and she had a good reason to quit: Her first grandchild was on the way and her daughter objected to her smoking. But the date was doubly significant: “April 21 was the same date I got sober years ago,†says DeBrock, who lives in Wood Dale, Illinois. DeBrock employed two strategies to successfully quit smoking. Besides being very clear about why she was quitting, she set a specific quit date. “Success rates for quitters are higher for those who have a plan,†says Albert Polito, MD, the director of the Lung Center at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. “Setting a quit date puts it on the calendar. It says ‘I’m committed.’†Bill Blatt, MPH, the director of tobacco control programs at the American Lung Association (ALA), encourages smokers to pick a quit date that’s …show more content…

However, besides setting a quit date, there are other ways to increase your chance of success: Use smoking cessation aids. Blatt encourages smokers to take advantage of available smoking cessation aids. Polito agrees. “I have so many patients who think they can do it on their own — cold turkey,†he says. “It’s possible, but it’s rare. So many people rule out [smoking cessation] aids.†They shouldn’t. Polito says medications or nicotine replacement products can be a bridge to quitting for some people, making it easier to transition through the first difficult weeks or months. Don’t do it alone. Smoking cessation programs (including 1-800-QUIT-NOW and provide invaluable support. So can a buddy. Carolyn Thomas, of Ledgedale, Pennsylvania, quit smoking with a group of work friends. They all smoked together on their breaks. However, when their employer announced it was raising smokers’ health insurance premiums by $150 per month, they were highly motivated to quit. “We still go outside on breaks,†Thomas says, “but now we walk instead of

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