Quitting Smoking can be the most challenging thing you’ll ever do. Here are some tips if this is your New Year’s resolution!

One of the first mistakes smokers make when attempting to quit is to try to do it alone. Risking the embarrassment of telling friends and family only to fail in the attempt causes many smokers to make their quit attempt secretly. Research suggests however that quitting with a buddy or a good support system increases the chances of staying quit. According to the American Heart Association, while seventy percent of smokers show an interest in quitting, only five percent are able to do so with long term success.

Quitting “cold turkey” works for a very small percentage of smokers. For the majority, it will take finding the right method, or combination of methods to reach the goal of being tobacco free. While many of these methods can be expensive, there are some programs available at no cost. Most states offer a cessation program that can be accessed by toll-free phone or by using a professionally designed website. New Jersey, for instance, has the Quitnet and Quitline as well as several low cost Quitcenters. Most of these sites and phone lines will redirect your call or website visit if you are calling from an out of state number or type in an out of state zip code. The phone lines offer live counselors who are specifically trained in tobacco treatment and will work with you to find the right quit method. The website can be used alone or as a supplement to the counseling services. Nicotine Anonymous, a twelve step program is also available in many areas of the country and can be accessed online as well.

Sometimes support alone is not enough. There are several products on the market to replace nicotine while you are quitting. These products are intended to be used to “titrate” a person from nicotine by slowly reducing the amount delivered over a period of time. These products come in the form of patches, gum and lozenges. Additionally, there are several prescription drugs on the market which have been helpful to many smokers. These products are only available through a physician and should be monitored in their use. It would be wise to check with your insurance carrier to find out if these pharmaceuticals are covered by your plan as they can be a bit pricey.

While quitting smoking can be the most difficult challenge a smoker will face in his or her life, it can also be the most rewarding decision ever made. Whether it’s January 1st or another date, planning that big day can be done with success!