Vermont Department of Health Provides Top 10 Tips for Quitting Smoking Successfully

For Immediate Release: December 31, 2003

Contact: Moira Cook
Tobacco Control Chief
Vermont Department of Health
802-863-7592
mcook@vdh.state.vt.us

Mark Ray
Kelliher Samets Volk
802-862-8261
mray@ksvc.com

BURLINGTON—The Vermont Department of Health hopes that as many as possible of the estimated 96,000 adults in Vermont who smoke cigarettes made it their personal New Year’s resolution to quit smoking in 2004.

“Quitting smoking can be tough - it typically takes smokers five to seven attempts before successfully quitting,” noted Commissioner of Health Paul Jarris, MD, MBA. “Fortunately, there are many things that Vermonters can do to improve their chances of successfully kicking tobacco, including contacting the Vermont Quit Line toll-free.”

Maintaining the New Year’s resolutions to quit smoking is easier with the following suggestions:

  1. Write down your reasons for wanting to quit. Hiking Camel’s Hump again. Playing with my grandchild. Saving thousands of dollars. Keep your list with you for extra motivation.
  2. Set a quit date and plan ahead to help deal with cravings. Nicotine is highly addictive,, but good planning and support will help you make it through.
  3. Tell your family, friends, and co-workers about your plans to quit. Others can offer support to help you quit. Plan activities with others, and look to them for support when you are having trouble in the quitting process.
  4. Have alternatives to smoking available. Peppermints and carrot sticks can help with oral cravings; take up an instrument or squeeze a stress ball to replace the hand movements of smoking.
  5. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist about whether medication is right for you. In addition to the nicotine replacement therapy skin patch, medication is also available in gum and lozenge form.
  6. Avoid situations that always trigger an urge to smoke. Invite your friends over for a movie and pizza instead of meeting at a smoke-filled bar.
  7. Clean your car and house to rid the smell of cigarette smoke that may trigger cravings. Replace the stale smoke smells with ones that are pleasant to you.
  8. Exercise to deal with stress. Instead of picking up a cigarette, put on your boots or snowshoes and get moving. Pick up small weights and start building arm strength when you can’t go outside.
  9. Celebrate successes. One day. One week. One month. One year. Each is a wonderful accomplishment that should be acknowledged and celebrated.
  10. Stay busy. For more suggestions, contact the Vermont Quit Line, and you can be referred to quit-smoking resources in your community including classes, internet resources and medication referrals.

A national study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that quit line counseling—including quitting strategies, ongoing support and local referrals over the phone at convenient times—doubles the chances of success. Vermonters who want to learn more about the resources available can call the Vermont Quit Line toll-free at 1-877-YES-QUIT, or 1-877-937-7848.

According to the Vermont Department of Health, approximately 96,000 adult Vermonters smoke, and an estimated 1,000 die annually from smoking-related diseases, including heart disease and cancer. The Vermont Department of Health aims to cut the number of adult Vermont smokers in half by 2010.