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5 Sites to Help You Quit Smoking

January 01, 2010
by Emily Coakley
Smoking is one of the toughest addictions to break; if you smoke, that isn’t news. What might be news, though, is that the Web has some great sites that explain why you smoke and the best ways to stop. These sites even include advice for nonsmokers who are trying to encourage others who have quit.

Reasons for Smoking

The American Cancer Society has a six-question, multiple-choice quiz that helps assess your nicotine dependence and suggests ways to help you quit. Questions include, “How many cigarettes per day do you smoke?” and “Which cigarette would you most hate to give up?” Once you’ve answered the questions, the results explain what level of nicotine dependence you might have, and some of the different cessation methods that might be best for your situation.

The American Academy of Family Physicians has a more thorough “Why Do I Smoke?” quiz that asks you to rate your agreement level with 21 statements, such as, “I smoke when people around me are smoking” and “I’ve found a cigarette in my mouth and haven’t remembered it was there.” Add up your scores on the scorecard provided and gain insight into why you smoke. While this test is a little complicated, it offers a comprehensive look at the different reasons for smoking, which can help you take a more effective approach to quitting. The Academy suggests using this quiz when talking to your doctor about the best way to quit smoking.

Ways to Quit

The National Cancer Institute’s Prevention and Cessation of Cigarette Smoking page briefly discusses the different ways a person can stop smoking. Besides using nicotine replacement therapy in the form of gum, patches or lozenges, counseling can be a very useful tool to stop smoking, NCI suggests. Key terms in the article are linked to a pop-up glossary. The page also mentions a few of the many reasons tobacco and cigarettes are harmful, which bears repeating. Smoking causes 400,000 premature deaths annually in the United States.

The American Lung Association has a free online self-help program called Freedom From Smoking. It’s divided into seven modules, and suggests appropriate ways to quit that are based on your individual reasons for smoking, which it assesses.  Freedom From Smoking includes key smoking cessation-related topics such as stress management, refusing cigarettes in social situations and weight issues. To access this program, sign up for a free account with the American Lung Association.

Supporting Efforts to Quit

Watching a loved one smoke when you know the serious health risks associated with the habit can be unbearable. But there are ways you can help when he or she chooses to quit. The American Cancer Society has advice for friends and family of smokers, such as, “Do respect that the quitter is in charge. This is their lifestyle change and their challenge, not yours,” and “Don’t offer advice. Just ask how you can help with the plan or program they are using.” This page also provides suggestions when a loved one slips or returns to smoking after trying to quit. Relapses are common with smoking; it takes the average person five to seven attempts before he or she can quit entirely. ACS says you shouldn’t nag or guilt someone, but help them remember why they wanted to quit smoking.

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