If quitting smoking tops your New Year’s resolution list, you’re not alone. Nearly 75% of smokers say they want to become former smokers.
There’s good news—more and more people are! According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are more former smokers today than there are smokers.
What’s behind the success? Probably not a finger-wagging lecture, more alarming stats or shaming judgment. If you’re a smoker, you’ve had more than your share of those.
You can join the ranks of former smokers who’ve quit for life, said Patricia Colon, MPH, the tobacco prevention coordinator with IU Health Bloomington Community Health. What makes the difference is a plan and support.
Fortunately, Hoosiers have free access to both through the Indiana Tobacco QuitLine.
“When smokers decide to quit, they face a mix of physical and psychological issues along the way,” said Colon. “The QuitLine provides any Hoosier phone, online and text access to a Quit Coach® and resources – all totally free. Throughout the journey, the program provides support when issues and stressors hit.”
One-on-one Quit Coaches® help set you up for success. Studies show you’re more likely to quit and not start again if you work with a coach. Quit Coaches are trained in how to make a big life change, and in the science of smoking cessation.
Like the free, eight-week Beat Tobacco course Colon helps promote through IU Health Bloomington, QuitLine recommends setting a quit date no more than 2-3 weeks away. That gives you time to develop a plan that identifies challenges that you will face and how you’ll deal with temptations to smoke.
Colon said challenges can be different for everyone. How will you deal with the stress of traffic during your daily commute without smoking your way through it? What about the cigarette that goes hand-in-hand with your first cup of coffee every morning? “A plan has to focus on your challenges and what works best for you to get around them,” she said.
Many Quit Coaches are former smokers, so they’ve stared down the same kind of challenges you’ll face. Like Colon, they know it’s not always easy, and your craving to smoke may still try to convince you “just one won’t hurt.”
“Short-term goals help you stay focused,” said Colon. “Maybe your cravings never totally go away, but your confidence level goes up every time you say no to a cigarette. It motivates you to keep going.”
Ready to become a former smoker? It’s never too soon to get ready. Go to QuitNowIndiana to get started. 2020 is your year!