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New Year's Resolution to Quit Smoking? – Tips to Help Kick the Habit for Good

January 3, 2011

RICHMOND, Va. - It's the first week of the New Year, and it's make it or break time when it comes to keeping many of those New Year's resolutions. At the top of the list for lots of Virginians is to quit smoking...

It's no easy task, says Lee Gilman, senior vice president for health promotion and public policy with The American Lung Association (ALA).

She says that, on average, a person will try to quit seven or eight times before being successful. That's why she says it's important to have a plan, give it some time, and really make sure you're ready before setting that date to stop.

"Understand that even with the best of intentions, sometimes we fall down and backslide and that's perfectly normal. It's just important to not give up, and to try again."

Gilman says that no matter how long you've been smoking, or how many times you have tried to quit, it is never too late.

"And your body does recover: I mean it takes time and it's not an absolute, but the human body is quite amazing in that it can recover and that you can sort of stabilize and have a better quality of life in terms of your breathing and your energy levels."

Gilman says it's important to know that you don't have to go it alone. The ALA has put together tips on their site to make it easier to devise and stick to a plan, which includes: contacting your doctor to discuss smoking cessation aids; taking care of yourself with exercise, diet and rest; reaching out to family and friends for support; as well as doing some homework to find out about groups and on-line tools to help you quit.

More information is at www.lungusa.org

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - VA