Home Have a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking? Some tips to be successful

Have a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking? Some tips to be successful

Crystal Graham
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While tobacco use has been declining for decades, 13.6 percent of Virginia residents still smoke and tobacco is the leading cause of death and disease in the state.

Through the new “Tobacco-Free ‘23” campaign, the American Lung Association in Virginia is sharing key reasons why 2023 is the year to quit tobacco, as well as sharing tips and resources.

“Each year, quitting smoking is listed as one of the top New Year’s resolutions. While quitting smoking is extremely difficult, it is possible. In fact, it typically takes a person 8-10 attempts to quit smoking for good, which is why we call it a journey,” said Deborah Brown, chief mission officer for the American Lung Association. “It is important to have support during this process, including family, friends and your doctor, to help keep you on the right path.”

Here are three reasons why 2023 is the year to start your journey to become tobacco-free:

  • Your health: Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Virginia, killing 10,310 people each year. Currently, 16 million Americans live with a tobacco-related disease. While it’s best to quit as early as possible, quitting tobacco use at any age will enhance the length and quality of your life.
  • FDA is preparing to end sales of menthol cigarettes: Currently, the Food and Drug Administration is in the process of finalizing rules to end the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars in the U.S. If you use one of these tobacco products, this is an optimal time to begin your quit journey. In fact, after Canada stopped selling menthol cigarettes in 2017, the country saw an increase in quit attempts and cessation among people who smoked menthols.
  • Be an inspiration: Last year, the American Lung Association relaunched the “Super Stoppers Club” with award-winning journalist Bob Levey to celebrate people who have quit smoking for good and inspire those who are trying to quit. Read inspiring quit stories and submit your own at Lung.org/Super-Stoppers.
  • Save money: If your New Year’s resolution is to save money, quitting smoking can save you between $2,230-$4,360 annually.

Here are some of the tips and resources the American Lung Association recommends to successfully quit tobacco:

  • Lung Helpline: Not sure where to start? Call the Lung Association’s free Lung Helpline and Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-LUNGUSA, which is staffed with licensed registered nurses, respiratory therapists and certified tobacco treatment specialists.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider: Talking to a healthcare provider about your plan to quit smoking is an important step. With your doctor’s help, you can include cessation medication into your tobacco treatment plan, which can double your chances of quitting successfully. There are seven FDA-approved medications that are proven to help you quit.
  • Quit. Don’t Switch. E-cigarettes are tobacco products, and the FDA has not found any e-cigarette to be safe and effective in helping smokers quit. Switching to e-cigarettes does not mean quitting. Quitting means ending your addiction to nicotine.

For more information about quitting tobacco for “Tobacco-Free ’23,” visit the American Lung Association website at Lung.org or call the Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.