I have a friend that survived a major heart attack.  The doctors told him that if he left the hospital and went back to smoking his heart wouldn’t heal and he would die.  “If you smoke, you die.” For him, quitting was agonizingly difficult.

I have other friends, a couple, that decided to quit when she was diagnosed with cancer.  She quit successfully with what appeared to be minimal trouble.  He struggled and struggled.

There is help for those that struggle that can make it easier and success more likely.  I’m grateful for these programs and resources.

  1. Start with The American Cancer Society’s “How to Quit Smoking”.

There are 13 resources here including, “How to Help a Smoker Quit,” “Making a Plan,” and “Ways to Quit Smoking.”  From the site:

“All 50 states and the District of Columbia offer some type of free, telephone-based program that links callers with trained counselors. These specialists help plan a quit method that fits each person’s unique pattern of tobacco use. People who use telephone counseling have twice the success rate in quitting smoking as those who don’t get this type of help.

Counselors may suggest a combination of methods including medicines, local classes, self-help brochures, and/or a network of family and friends. Help from a counselor can keep quitters from making many common mistakes.”

  1. Go to The Center for Disease Control, the CDC, resource page.

This is another excellent resource.  They’ll help you by phone, by text message and by email and refer you to other resources.

“You can quit smoking for good and live a healthy, smoke-free life. Take the first step and call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for FREE support.”

  1. If you’re a veteran, let the Veterans Administration help.  

Visit the VA smoking help site. You’ll find hotlines, suggestions and a “stay quit” coach.

“The odds are in your favor—more than half of all adults who ever smoked have quit.

Research shows that a person has the best chance of quitting tobacco for good when they: (1)Use smoking cessation medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

(2)Take part in tobacco cessation counseling.”

  1. Talk to your doctor.

Your doctor will have good advice, he or she cares, and can prescribe medications suitable for you.

  1. Contact your church.

Our church and many others have support programs for smokers, and faith does help.  I have attended addiction recovery meetings from my faith and they are excellent, based on a 12-step program similar to the Alcoholics Anonymous program.

The CDC has a support site for Faith Based Organizations and those who would like help from their faith.

Here is a list of religious organizations with support services.

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