11 Tips to Start 2011 Smoke Free

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American Cancer Society Offers Information, Support to Keep Your 2011 New Year's Resolution

New York, NY (January 1, 2011) — Happy 2011! New Year's Day is traditionally the most popular day of the year for people to quit smoking. To help you keep your 2011 New Year's Resolution, the American Cancer Society is offering 11 helpful tips on how to break free from a tobacco addiction.

1) Don’t keep it a secret. Include your friends and family in your quitting process; they can offer much needed support.

2) You’re not alone. More and more people are trying to break free from cigarettes and there are lots of support options available. Many communities and health care organizations have free or low-cost counseling available to help you quit. Call your American Cancer Society to find out what is available in your area.

NewYear
Millions will attempt to quit smoking as their 2011 New Year's Resolution.

3) Consider using medication to help you quit. There are prescriptions and over-the-counter medications that can help you deal with withdrawal symptoms or even help to reduce the urge to smoke. Again, you’ll always want to talk to your doctor first, but some medicine could help.

4) Dump the memories. Clear the places where you usually smoke of anything that reminds you of cigarettes – like lighters, ashtrays, or matches. Also ask other smokers not to smoke around you, and clean your house and car thoroughly to remove the smell of cigarettes.

5) Avoid places where smokers gather. Go to the movies or other places where smoking is not allowed.

6) Stay calm and stay busy. You may feel some nervous energy but it can be countered by physical and mental activities. Take long strolls and deep breaths of fresh air, and find things to keep your hands busy, like crossword puzzles or yard work. There are a lot of leaves on the ground at this time of year.

7) Talk to your doctor. Before you begin any plan for quitting smoking you should check with your doctor to see what might be the best approach for you. Remember, quitting smoking is very personal and there isn’t one perfect method.

8) When the urge to smoke strikes, do something else. If you feel a craving for a cigarette coming on, take a deep breath, count to 10 and then do something else. Call a supportive friend. Do brief exercises such as pushups, walking up a flight of stairs, or touching your toes. Anything that will take your mind off your cravings.

9) One will hurt. Many people fall into the trap of thinking that if they only have one cigarette its okay. But even that one smoke can get you back in the habit of smoking full time. Keeping a supply of oral substitutes like carrots, apples, raisins, or gum handy can help.

10) Water, water everywhere. Drink lots of fluids. It can help clean your system out and curb some cravings. Water is the best for this, and you’ll want to pass up on coffee and alcohol. It’s not good to supplement one harmful addiction with another.

11) Embrace technology.  Utilize social networks like Facebook and Twitter to seek support from your friends.  Smokers who want to quit can also declare their intentions online.  Log onto iwillquit.org - created just for the American Cancer Society to help smokers kick the habit. The focus of the web site is on living a healthy, active life. Visitors are asked to share their reason for quitting and are provided with resources and tips to help make their attempt a success.

Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. Each year, smoking accounts for an estimated 443,000 premature deaths – including 49,400 deaths among nonsmokers as a result of secondhand smoke. Tobacco use increases the risk of at least 15 types of cancer, and 30 percent of all cancer deaths.

It’s not easy to quit smoking. Studies have indicated that cigarettes are more addictive than heroin and the first three weeks after you quit are said to be the most difficult. If you stumble along the way to giving up smoking, don’t punish yourself. Just try again. The key is don’t give up. You can quit. We can help. For more information contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 or log on to iwillquit.org.

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About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nations largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing about $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.