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Mary Ella’s Weekly Message
July 9, 2012
The Best Way to Quit
Ask a group of former smokers how they quit and you’ll get a lot of different answers. What’s the best way to quit? There’s no one answer that works for everyone. One size does not fill all when it comes to quitting. The method that works for the overwhelming majority of smokers is to combine the use of a behavior modification program, such as FFS Online, with an FDA-approved medication such as the nicotine patch, gum, lozenge, inhaler or nasal spray or a non-nicotine medication like Zyban® or Chantix®.
There are two very important considerations when taking the medications:
- Take it according to directions, and
- Continue using it for the recommended period of time.
It’s easy to give up on a medication too soon. If you experience side effects that you can’t tolerate, talk to your health care provider and ask if there is a different dosage or another medication that may work better for you.
Be sure that you really participate in your behavioral modification program as well. Don’t just read the exercises in FFS Online, try out the techniques those exercises describe and see which ones help you on your journey to quitting. If you’re in a face-to-face program like our Freedom From Smoking® group clinic, don’t be a wallflower. Share your experiences and support your fellow participants!
If you are quitting in the week ahead:
- Seek support. Ask for help and you will receive support from others on the Message Boards. Use that support when you hit a rough patch on your journey.
- Keep your hands busy. Keep some word puzzles or games handy.
- Call the Lung HelpLine if you have questions about quitting, medications, or lung disease. It’s free and our counselors are available every day from 8:00 a.m. until Midnight, Eastern Time. Call 1-800-LUNG-USA or 1-800-586-4872.
- Look up your local American Lung Association office and get involved. Volunteer by putting together a climb or walk team, supporting efforts in your state to protect your lung health, or doing something else where you live or work to Fight for Air.
- Reward yourself for the hard work you’re doing. It’s important to celebrate milestones along the way and to treat yourself to something you enjoy. Reinforcing your new behavior in a positive way will help you to remain smokefree.
I’ll see you on the Message Boards! :-) Mary Ella
Don’t forget: If you’re in the Premium program and want help fast on the Message Boards, put “HELP NOW” in the subject line of your post. If you’re looking to offer help, watch for those, “HELP NOW” posts and alert your other FFS Online buddies to offer some assistance as well.