Welcome 2017! At this time of year, people are making a New Year’s resolution, and one of the most popular ones is to Quit Smoking.  If you are one of the 20% of Americans out there still smoking, then we are going to outline some ideas to help you beat the habit.

Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse.  They can recommend over-the-counter or prescription medications that could be helpful for you.

Set a quit date and tell people about it. If you have a date in mind, and you tell your family and friends, they will make sure you keep your promise.

Write down your quit date. Put it in a note and look at it every day. You will remind yourself that this year you gave up smoking!

Anticipate challenges.

Do you have cravings?

  • Keep hard candy or gum in your pocket.
  • Put your cigarettes in the mailbox or trunk of your car so that you have to walk farther to get them.
  • Do short breathing exercises. Breathe in and out slowly 10 times.

Do you feel angry, anxious, or irritated?

  • These feelings will only last 2 to 4 weeks.
  • Take a short walk.
  • Avoid drinks that have caffeine such as  soda, coffee, and tea which can make you more angry.
  • Try a comforting bubble bath.

Do you feel depressed?

  • Call a friend or family member and spend time watching a movie, walking or grabbing a bite to eat.
  • Exercise.
  • Breathe deeply for 10 minutes.
  • Make a list of things bothering you and write down ways to fix each one.

Are you gaining weight?

  • Increase regular activity and choose healthy food options.  This will go along with helping you feel better about yourself for quitting smoking.
  • Check with a nutritionist or dietitian.

What if there are other people around you smoking?

  • Ask the person to not smoke around you or go outside.
  • Ask the person to quit with you.
  • Do not buy cigarettes for other people.

Take a smoking cessation class. You don’t have to do this alone!  These local organizations can help you quit in a one-on-one session or in a group setting:

UC Health/Barrett Center (513) 584-7848

Cincinnati Health Department (513) 357-7200

Quit line: 1-800-QUIT-NOW or 1-800-784-8669

Dr. Bethanne Brown is an Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the University of Cincinnati and smoking cessation counselor at the Cincinnati Health Department.