Tips to quit smoking for good

By Kelly McCarthy

Tips to quit smoking for good

January 13, 2014 Updated Jan 13, 2014 at 7:12 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) One of the most common New Year's resolutions people tend to make is from smokers determined to quit. Medical experts suggest the best way to do that is to get help from stop smoking aids.

For many smokers, putting down the cigarettes for good might seem like an impossible task. That's why experts said quitting cold turkey is not the best way to start.

"We know from studies that people are more likely to quit successfully if they use a combination of some type of medication," said Sharon Fischer, Tobacco Control Coordinator at the Broome County Health Department, "And some coaching or some support."

Support services, like the Stay Healthy Center in the Oakdale Mall, offer free classes and counseling for people who want to become smoke-free.

"Well basically what we do is kind of give them a tool chest of ideas," said Laura Schutt, Tobacco Coordinator for UHS Stay Healthy, "And ways to go about quitting."

The Stay Healthy center holds weekly classes on Mondays and Tuesdays to help smokers use their toolboxes to quit for good.

"The average number of quit attempts before somebody stays quit usually is around seven," Fischer said, "So if you've tried before don't say oh I tried and it didn't work, make sure you try again."

Some of the most popular stop smoking aids are these nicotine patches and gum. Experts said the most effective method is the one that's most convenient for a smoker to use.

"Once the nicotine is out of your system," Schutt said, "It's not so much the withdrawal from the nicotine then it's more the habit."

Studies show that using different methods to stop smoking have been working.

"The rate's been cut in more than half," Fischer said, "So there's been a lot of progress but there's still a lot to do because we still have about 440,000 Americans every year die from smoking."

Fischer said people who are on Medicaid can get smoking aids free of charge with a prescription from a doctor, otherwise it could cost around $40 for a box of nicotine patches or gum.

For anyone who's looking to quit smoking or knows someone who wants to quit, call (607) 763 - 5091 to reach the UHS Stay Healthy Center. Class sign up and counseling services are available.

To use the NYS Smoker's Quitline call 1-866-697-8487.

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