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Resolved to Quit Smoking? If at First You Don’t Succeed…

January 13, 2010

LOS ANGELES - Nobody likes a quitter - that is, unless you are the American Lung Association. Quitting smoking is at the top of many a New Year's resolution list, and experts say kicking the nicotine habit is one of the most difficult goals to keep.

Margaret LaCroix, vice-president of marketing and communications with the American Lung Association, says it takes the average person seven tries at quitting before being successful. She adds many people mistakenly reason that, since they have been smoking for so long, the damage has already been done.

"It's definitely not too late, ever, no matter how long you have been smoking, and no matter how old you are. People who quit tell us that the benefits from quitting are immediate."

In the spirit of taking things one day at a time, LaCroix says going smoke-free for 24 hours brings people quick benefits.

"Their circulation improves, the oxygen content of their blood increases, and hypertension risk due to smoking is, of course, eliminated."

LaCroix says the American Lung Association's "Freedom From Smoking" program has several options to help people kick the habit with support and planning online, or over the phone.

The Web site is www.ffsonline.org. The phone number is 1-800-LUNG-USA; choose Option 2.

Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA