Most people try to quit smoking cigarettes four or five times before it sticks, according to Connie Clark, tobacco cessation specialist at UVA Cancer Center. So if you or your loved one can’t figure out how to quit smoking for good, you’re not alone.
November is an awareness month for both lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). You probably already know that smoking tobacco can cause both. But one to nine months after you quit smoking, your lungs begin regaining normal function, according to the American Cancer Society. 10 years after quitting, your risk of dying from lung cancer is half that of a current smoker. You also have less risk of other cancers compared to current smokers.
Tools to Help You Quit: Medication, Acupuncture and Other Options
UVA Cancer Center lists a few options:
- Prescription medications
- Nicotine patches
- Nicotine gum and lozenges
- Nicotine inhalers
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Quitting abruptly — the “cold turkey” method — can work if you have a strict plan in place.
Quit Now Virginia: Free Help With Quitting Smoking
In Virginia, you can also take advantage of free information and smoking cessation coaching from the Department of Health. Contact Quit Now Virginia at 1.800.QUIT.NOW/1.800.784.8669.
Helping Someone Else Quit Smoking
Avoid nagging, scolding or preaching. Don’t assume a slip-up means your loved one will never be able to quit. Instead, stay positive and offer distractions like going to a movie.