Tips to Quit for the Great American Smoke-Out

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Thursday is the Great American Smoke-Out when smokers are asked to give up smoking for just one day, hoping the effort will last a lifetime. So, If you're thinking about trying that on Thursday, there is something you can do now to make it easier on your quit day.

Dr. Kompal Parmar, a family physician with Covenant Medical Group, says there are many good resources at the drugstore and online. She says, "There are a lot of nicotine replacement therapies over the counter which includes nicotine gum, lozenges, nicotine sprays and even nicotine patches which they can try over the counter. You can Google things like smoking cessation programs or you can call 1-800 quit now so you can get connected to counselors."

Dr. Parmar says don't get discouraged if you thought you put out your last cigarette for the Smoke-Out last year but later began smoking again.  She says it may take multiple efforts to finally kick the habit. And often, it takes a combination of efforts to help people give up cigarettes, which might include an over the counter therapy with counseling and online help as well.

And she adds for some people, it may take a prescription like Chantix to say no to smoking. By the way, she says most insurance companies today will cover your prescription to quit smoking because of the proven health benefits.

No matter what you try, Dr. Parmar says it's always good to have a buddy or support system so you can share your struggles with someone else. And don't forget to keep a journal of your efforts. She says you can learn more about that by Googling quit smoking journals.

In the meantime, don't forget to prepare your house for the Smoke-out. Dr. Parmar says that means the first thing you do is get rid of all your cigarettes or anything that might tempt you on the Smoke-Out day. She suggests setting goals that go beyond Thursday. That may just be Friday. She says setting little goals that are easy to reach means celebrating each time you achieve that milestone.

Dr. Parmar says one of the little things you'll notice as soon as you give up cigarettes is fresh breath. She says her patients tell her that it's a wonderful feeling when you quit smoking and your breath smells good, you feel better, you have more energy and you know you smell better too!

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