Something as tough as quitting tobacco doesn’t typically take on a first try, but the American Lung Association has tips to try to help make quitting stick.
“If you’ve relapsed back into tobacco use, if you’ve made a quit attempt in the past — don’t get discouraged,” said Jennifer Folkenroth, the American Lung Association’s National Senior Director of Tobacco Programs.
She said most people who smoke, chew or vape have tried to quit in the past.
“Don’t get discouraged. Stop, think about what worked in the past, think about what didn’t work, and then adapt your plan for this next quit attempt,” Folkenroth said.
People who want to quit should realize they don’t have to go it alone.
“Talking to a doctor about including cessation medication into your tobacco treatment plan can double your chances of quitting successfully,” she said.
“Enrolling in a proven effective cessation counseling program such as American Lung Association’s freedom from smoking program can increase your chances of successfully quitting and staying tobacco free by 50%.”
Folkenroth also had strong words about vaping, while noting that the Food and Drug Administration has not found any e-cigarette to be safe and effective in helping smokers quit.
“Quit, don’t switch,” she said. “Quitting means ending your addiction to nicotine for good and you can do that successfully with a tobacco treatment plan that includes both counseling plus FDA approved cessation medication.”
Folkenroth points out that quitting tobacco at any age will enhance the length and quality of a smoker’s life.
“Not to mention all of the money you’ll save, as well as a lot of the social side effects that you’ll get back — no longer having to go out in the cold or miss out on time with family and friends.”
An American Lung Association news release details resources available to help adults and teens to quit all tobacco products:
- Lung Helpline: Not sure where to start? Call the Lung Association’s free Lung Helpline and Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-LUNGUSA, which is staffed with licensed registered nurses, respiratory therapists and certified tobacco treatment specialists. They can answer all your questions and connect you with the resources that are right for your quit journey.
- Freedom From Smoking: Helps individuals create their own unique quit plan, as well as tips and techniques to stay successful in the long run. Freedom From Smoking can be accessed online, at a group clinic and through a self-guided workbook. Those looking to quit smoking are encouraged to use the method that works best for their learning style, schedule and unique quit tobacco use plan.
- Not-On-Tobacco (N-O-T): A teen smoking/chewing/vaping cessation program for teens who want to quit. The 10-session program provides the tools, information, and support for teens to end their addiction to tobacco.
- Vape-Free Schools Initiative: The Vape-Free Schools Initiative provides school administrators and educators with training to offer an alternative-to-suspension program for students found vaping, smoking or chewing on school property, and a voluntary vaping/tobacco cessation program for youth wanting to quit for good. Learn more at Lung.org/vape-free-schools.
Offering some final words of encouragement, Folkenroth said: “Even though quitting tobacco isn’t easy, 50 million ex-smokers in the United States are proof that it is absolutely achievable.”