‘Tis the season for New Year’s Resolutions! Like most people around this time, you may be looking for ways to permanently end bad habits and unhealthy choices in the new year. And for 34 million Americans, quitting smoking may be on the chopping block in 2021. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), up to 16 million Americans are living with at least one cigarette-related illness and these diseases contribute to more than 450,000 deaths every year. If your resolutions for 2021 include kicking the habit, there are many resources and options out there to help guide you to a smoke-free life.

There has never been a better time to quit smoking. By quitting today, you reduce your risk of serious complications such as heart disease, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and more. If you are thinking about quitting, you have options that can best suit your life and schedule to get you on the right track.

Every quit-smoking program needs to incorporate some kind of support system to ensure success. Friends, family, counselors, or therapists can help get you through rough patches in your journey to quit. If you find your support system lacking, talk to your doctor about enrolling in therapy to open other avenues of communication. Counselors specializing in smoking cessation are available to assist you and provide support along the way.

Nicotine replacement therapy is a popular program to improve your chances of success by combatting the effects of withdrawal. Nicotine gum, patches, or lozenges can help to curb cravings during the day. This method of cessation works with your urge to smoke by providing nicotine in small doses. Eventually, the dosage tapers off until you no longer have cravings. By incorporating nicotine replacement therapy into your quit-smoking program, you increase the likelihood of quitting for good.

Keeping busy is an effective way to quit smoking because it distracts you from falling back into that habit of lighting up. Exercise daily, stay hydrated, pick up a hobby or pastime, and avoid your triggers! Triggers can be places, activities, even people that can set off your urge to smoke. Toss any leftover cigarettes, avoid caffeine and alcohol, and change your routine to keep away from these things. By keeping yourself occupied and in a smoke-free environment, especially in the early stages of quitting, you can reduce your cravings and urges.

At Roger’s Family Pharmacy, we know that prevention is key to maintaining overall health and wellness. While we do offer smoking cessation supplements as well as information on quitting, we certainly suggest consulting with your primary care physician about your personal health and smoking. By getting a plan and sticking to it, you can be on your way to a smoke-free life. Click [here] to visit the United States Center for Disease Control’s website for more information regarding smoking and how to quit. You may also consult your local pharmacist at Roger’s Family Pharmacy at (601) 582-8351 for additional information.