If you’re ready to go smoke-free once and all, take heart. You don’t have to go it alone. “There are so many people out there willing to give you advice and help,” says Bill Blatt, director of tobacco programs at the American Lung Association (ALA). “Please reach out and accept it.” A good day to start: November 17th. That’s when the American Cancer Society will be holding the 36th Great American Smokeout. Use the day to make a plan to quit or make it the first day of your quit smoking program. Here a round-up of some first-rate quit smoking services that’ll help get you started.
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- Freedom from Smoking ® teaches proven stop smoking skills and techniques to Stopadults in group clinics, through a self-help book or online. To find a clinic in your area, call the ALA HelpLine at 1-800-548-8252. For details about the online program, visit www.ffsonline.org.
- Not-On-Tobacco®, or N-O-T, is designed to help 14- to 19-year-olds quit. Visit www.notontobacco.com .
- Also check out the ALA’s Quitter in You smoking cessation campaign designed to help you kick the habit. Visit http://www.quitterinyou.org/. Place the “Tips to Quit” on web pages you visit regularly; it’ll constantly give you updated quit-smoking tips, reminders and support.
- Smokefree.gov (http://www.smokefree.gov), created by the Tobacco Control Research Branch of the National Cancer Institute, offers a range of services including a quit-smoking guide, info about topics related to smoking and publications. It also features a national quit line that’ll help you find a quit smoking program in your area. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW. Other perks: A text messaging service through which you can get information and advice about quitting from a National Cancer Institute smoking cessation counselor. There’s also a free iPhone app that’ll get you ready to quit and support you while you’re trying. Visit http://apps.usa.gov/quit-guide/
- The American Legacy Foundation’ free EX program helps you confront the obstacles that dog many people when they try to quit—before you begin. Visit http://www.becomeanex.org/. You can also download the EX Plan iPhone® app.
- If you need meds, there are seven U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved medications to help you make the transition from smoker to non-smoker. Some are available over-the-counter (OTC) and some require a prescription (RX). Ask your doctor which one is right for you. Options include nicotine gum (OTC), nicotine patch (OTC), nicotine inhaler (Rx), nicotine lozenge (OTC), nicotine nasal spray (Rx), Bupropion (Rx) and Varenicline (Rx).