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"Stop Smoking" Resolutions - Practical Tips for the New Year

January 2, 2007

If quitting smoking was your New Year's Resolution, you don't have to go it alone. Ohio ex-smoker Len Staten is a volunteer tobacco counselor for the American Cancer Society's "Fresh Start" program. He says Ohioans have access to counseling services that can boost the odds of kicking the habit.

"Lots of people just need a little extra push; I have worked with people one-on-one, and had great success with that. But in the small groups, the other smokers often give each other the boost that they need."

He adds that quitting tobacco may not be easy, but it can be done, and it's worth the effort.

"Most smokers can't even imagine how good it feels. You breathe better, you can walk farther, and your chances of having a heart attack are way, way less only a very short period of time after you quit."

He points to American Cancer Society statistics that show quitting smoking is the number one way to reduce cancer risk. Tobacco use causes one out of three cancer deaths, and long-term smokers have a one in two chance of dying from lung cancer or another tobacco-related illness.

Staten says Ohioans can seek help from the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, and many hospitals and other health care providers. He names the Ohio Tobacco Quit Line as a great first step to find out about counseling and medication. It's available at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

Rob Ferrett/Eric Mack, Public News Service - OH