Many smokers start out the new year with great intentions of quitting, but most relapse if they cannot get help.
"At any given time, 70 percent of smokers say that they want to quit," said Dr. Cheryl Healton of the American Legacy Foundation.
A former smoker herself, Dr. Healton and her team surveyed 1,500 smokers who made a resolution for 2013. One third said they want to quit smoking, but without help, most of those good intentions go up in smoke within a week.
"Not enough people use known tried and true methods. Lots of people try to just do it on their own instead of getting help," said Dr. Healton.
Help begins with talking to a doctor who can recommend nicotine replacement products or prescription medications. It also requires re-learning life without cigarettes.
"You have to kind of map out when you're used to having cigarettes and get work-arounds for all those times so that you reduce the kind of cravings that are associated with it," said Dr. Healton.
If you have relapsed since New Year's Day, you are not alone. Some smokers must try as many as 11 times before they succeed. Do it monthly, and you can ring in 2014, smoke-free.
For more information on the American Legacy Foundation call 1-800-QUIT NOW or visit www.becomeanex.org.