Help is All Around You!
Many types of health care providers can help you quit smoking: your family doctor, dentist, pediatrician; nurses, psychologist, pharmacists, respiratory and physical therapist; and others.
Nicotine: A Powerful Addiction
If you have tried to quit smoking, you know how hard it can be. Nicotine is a very addictive drug; for some people, it can be as addictive as heroin or cocaine. People make two or three tries, or more, before finally being able to quit. Quitting is hard work and takes a lot of effort, but you can quit smoking.
Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you will ever do:
- You will live longer and live better.
- Quitting will lower your chance of having a heart attack, stroke, or cancer.
- If you are pregnant, quitting smoking will improve your chances of having a healthy baby.
- The people you live with, especially your children, will be healthier.
- You will have extra money to spend on things other than cigarettes.
Studies have shown these five steps will help you quit smoking and quit for good. You have the best chances for success if you use the keys together:
1. Get ready.
2. Get support.
3. Learn new skills and behaviors.
4. Get medication and use it correctly.
5. Be prepared for relapse or difficult situations.
1. Get Ready
- Set a quit date.
- Change your environment.
- Get rid of ALL cigarettes and ashtrays in your home, car and place of work.
- Don’t let people smoke in your home.
- Review your past attempts to quit. Think about what worked and what did not.
- Once you quit, don’t smoke–Not Even One Puff!
2. Get Support and Encouragement
Studies show you have a better chance of being successful if you have help. Support comes in many ways:
- Tell your family, friends, and co-workers that you are going to quit and want their support. Ask them not to smoke around you or leave cigarettes out.
- Talk to your health care provider (family doctor, dentist, pharmacist, psychologist, or smoking counselor)
- Get individual, group, or telephone counseling. The more counseling you have, the better your chances are of quitting. Programs are given at local hospitals and health care centers. Call your local Health Department for information about programs in your area.
3. Learn New Skills and Behaviors
- Try to distract yourself from the urge to smoke.
- Talk to someone or go for a walk.
- When you first try to quit, change your routine. Use a different route to work. Drink tea instead of coffee. Eat breakfast in a different place.
- Reduce your stress. Take a hot bath, exercise, or read a book.
- Plan something enjoyable to do every day.
- Drink a lot of water and other fluids.
4. Get Medication and Use it Correctly
Medications can help you stop smoking and lessen the urge to smoke.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved five medications to help people quit smoking: Bupropin SR (prescription); Nicotine gum (over-the-counter); Nicotine inhaler and nasal spray (prescription); and Nicotine patch (prescription and over-the-counter)
- Ask your health care provider for advice; carefully read the information on the package.
- All these medications double your chances of quitting and quitting for good.
- Everyone trying to quit may benefit from using medication. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking medications if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, nursing, under the age of 18, smoking fewer than 10 cigarettes per day, or have a medical condition.
5. Be Prepared for Relapse or Difficult Situations
Most relapses occur within the first three months after quitting. Don’t be discouraged if you start smoking again. Remember, most people try several times before they finally quit. Here are some difficult situations to watch for:
- Alcohol. Avoid drinking alcohol. Drinking lowers your chances of success.
- Other Smokers. Being around smoking can make you want to smoke.
- Weight gain. Many smokers will gain weight when they quit, usually less than 10 pounds. Eat a healthy diet and stay active. Don’t let weight gain distract you from your main goal-quitting smoking. Some quit-smoking medications may help delay weight gain.
- Bad Mood or depression. If you are having problems with depression, anxiety or some other difficult situation, talk to your doctor.
Studies show that everyone can quit smoking. Your situation can give you a special reason to quit.
- Pregnant women/new mothers: By quitting, you protect yourself and your baby’s health.
- Hospitalized patients: By quitting, you reduce health problems and help healing.
- Heart attack patients: By quitting, you reduce your risk of a second heart attack.
- Lung, head, neck cancer patients: By quitting, you reduce your chance of a second cancer.
- Parents of children and adolescents: By quitting, you protect your children and adolescents from illnesses caused by secondhand smoke.
Quitting is hard work and takes effort, but you can quit smoking!
American Heart Association
1212 W. Robinhood Drive
Stockton, CA 95207
(California State Program)
American Cancer Society
207 E. Alpine Avenue
Stockton, CA 95204
24hour/7days per week
American Lung Association
1231 W. Robinhood Drive
Stockton, CA 95027
Freedom from Smoking Course
National Cancer Institute
1-877-44 U QUIT
For pregnant women:
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
1425 RiverPark Dr. Suite 235
Sacramento, CA 95815-4523
Dameron Hospital Association
525 West Acacia Street, Stockton, CA 95203 Tel: 209.944.5550