Great American Smokeout Thursday: Online Resources For How to Quit [DOWNLOAD]
The Great American Smokeout will be held this Thursday - and in anticipation of the big day many of the 45 million smokers in this country are looking to quit. The question is how.
Despite 36 years of smokeouts organized by the American Cancer Society, 19 percent of American adults still smoke. Though that number is down from more than 42 percent 50 years ago, cities like New York that have imposed multiple smoking bans were hoping that the percentage would have dropped even more by now.
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With a view towards curbing a habit that can, on average, shorten smokers' lives by ten years, countless websites are posting step-by-step plans, including a "Guide to Quitting Smoking," which is easy to download.
Though many smokers over the age of 30 have quit, 40 percent of people between 18 and 25 smoke. And it is estimated that 800,000 new teenagers start smoking each year.
The nicotine patch has become extremely popular in recent years, while others have found that hypnosis works as well or better. Dr. Richard Brunswick, a retired family physician in Northampton, Mass. writes: "There is no magic pill or formula for beating back nicotine addiction. However, with a better understanding of why you smoke and the different tools you can use to control the urge to light up, you can stop being a slave to your cigarettes."
Brunswick's book, "Can't Quit? You Can Stop Smoking," is far from the only resource. A quick look on Amazon.com yields an array of guides with back-to-basic names like Quit Smoking: The Dead Simple Guide and The Secret To Stop Smoking.
Besides for books, most ex-smokers say they turned to therapy or medicine. Only about 4 percent to 7 percent of people are able to quit smoking on their own, according the cancer society.
Online support groups and Nicotine Anonymous are available, too. If you're not sure who to turn to, contact the American Cancer Society at 800-227-2345.
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