Monday, January 9, 2012

The New Year: A Great Time to Quit Smoking

Tom Joseph
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A new year gives more than two million Pennsylvanians a new chance to add years to their lives by quitting smoking. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one adult in five in the state is a cigarette smoker, the tenth-highest rate in the nation.

Keri Schneider, regional manager for the American Lung Association, says having support is critical when you make the decision to quit.

"Support is huge; asking family, friends, coworkers to help and support you through this process. And also, looking at the different resources that are available to you in your community, like the American Lung Association Helpline (800-586-4872), which can provide that support piece, as well."

If you've tried to quit before and it hasn't worked, Schneider says, don't be discouraged.

"For the majority of smokers out there, it does take multiple quit attempts to be successful."

In addition to improving your own health and the health of those around you, Schneider cites plenty of other reasons to quit. She says it will save a smoker a lot of money, and save the irritation of having to go outside in bad weather, extreme heat or cold, in order to smoke at work.

Schneider suggests getting regular exercise to reduce the stress of quitting, and eating a balanced diet. She says people who use organized quit-smoking programs have greater success in quitting for good, compared to those who try to go "cold turkey."

That toll-free helpline number is 800-586-4872.

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