Thousands of Illinois residents will resolve to quit smoking during 2012, and many will kick the habit for good.
Smokers wishing to quit should consider several options – stopping gradually or cold turkey, nicotine replacement therapies or other medications, attending classes or calling a Quitline. Once you determine how best to quit, commit to a solid plan and stick to it. There will be challenges, but help is available for those who want to quit for good.
Making a Plan: There are many good reasons for quitting: health, money, family, friends and dozens more. Write down all the reasons quitting is right for you and use the list for motivation when you need a helping hand. It works!
Pick your quitting date a few weeks ahead of time and mark it on your calendar. You may want to consider consulting a physician, especially if you plan to use the nicotine patch or other cessation aids.
As your quit date gets close, you may want to consider cutting back on the amount you smoke. It may also be helpful to start collecting and removing extra packs of cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays from your home and car.
Getting Support: Friends, family and co-workers can be of help when you are fighting those smoking urges. Think about it—most smokers light up when times are stressful. For additional support, consider a Will County Health Department quit smoking program. You can also use resources available through the Illinois Tobacco Quitline (1-866-QUIT-YES).
The Health Department will be offering the highly effective Freedom From Smoking program at Joliet’s Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center beginning Wednesday, Jan. 11. A second program begins Monday, February 27, at the Crete Public Library. For more information, or to register for a Will County Freedom From Smoking program, telephone 815-727-8769.
Getting Through It: Quitting smoking may produce a variety of symptoms lasting from a couple of days to a few weeks. Symptoms may include: irritability, fatigue, insomnia, a cough or dry throat, and an increased appetite. Hang in there! These symptoms are normal and they will pass.
When cravings for a smoke build, practice the four D’s (Drink water, Delay the cigarette, take Deep breaths and Distract you). If you need to put something in your mouth, try sugarless gum, a flavored toothpick, straw, or hard candy. Remember, keeping busy and regular exercise can also help.
For more information about quitting smoking, visit the Will County Tobacco Control and Prevention page at willcountyhealth.org or call 815-727-8769.