Here’s a checklist to help you get started:
Give the gift of quitting: If you want to quit as a holiday gift, pick a quit date in January, after the hubbub of the holidays are over. Mark your quit date on a calendar, wrap the calendar, and give that as a gift.
Write your list and check it twice: Making a plan ahead of time will help you quit for good. Write a list of your triggers- the certain times, places, people or feelings that make you want to smoke. Then list what you will do to beat them.
Find support among the cheer: Holiday gatherings of family and friends are a great place to line up support for quitting smoking. Let people know how they can support you when you quit.
Steer clear of grinches: Stay away from people who discourage you or try to tempt you to smoke. Surround yourself with positive people.
Try something new: Quit-smoking medicines like the nicotine patch or prescriptions can double your chances of quitting. If you’ve tried a medicine before, don’t give up—try again.
Quitting smoking can be hard, but the rewards of quitting are immediate. Twenty minutes after your last cigarette, your blood pressure goes almost completely back to normal and within 24 hours your chance of a heart attack decreases. Five years after quitting, your risk of heart disease will be that of a non-smoker.
The gift of health is the best gift of all…and it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Many free resources are available to help you quit and many health insurance plans cover FDA-approved medicines and counseling/support for quitting, including MassHealth. When you use quit-smoking medicines or counseling/support you can double your chances of quitting for good! For more information call the Massachusetts Smoker’s Helpline at 1 (800) 784-8669 or visit www.makesmokinghistory.org for more information.