Letter to the Editor: Struggling with New Year’s Resolution to Quit Tobacco?

To the Editor:

The new year is a great time to make positive changes in your life, as one of life’s chapters close, another begins. Lasting positive change doesn’t typically happen overnight. In fact, the most impactful resolutions often are a journey.

Quitting tobacco is undoubtedly a very rewarding resolution but can also be very challenging. One way to initiate this change and increase your chances of success is by creating a “quit plan”. Quit plans help assist you on your journey to becoming tobacco free by establishing your underlying motivation for change, identifying your support options, understanding factors that can lead to a relapse, and learning how to address them.

Quit plans are great for helping to achieve goals. However, multiple factors play a role in a person’s experience of becoming tobacco-free, making it crucial for us to look at this as a journey and not a one-time thing. If you find yourself experiencing this, know it’s okay if you are not successful on your first try. The path to quitting can provide unexpected obstacles. Research has suggested that it can take eight to 11 quit attempts before achieving a tobacco-free goal.

“As a former smoker, when I started the process to be tobacco-free it was hard to think of myself not having a cigarette as part of my daily routines. What would I do when I was stressed? Or driving? Or after a meal? But having a plan to chew gum or take a walk or practice deep breathing when the urge hit helped. Also knowing that in a short period of time my body started to feel better kept me motivated for change.” -Stacie

You can do this! If you find yourself in a rut on your journey, know that you don’t have to experience this journey alone. The state of Iowa has a program, available to provide support for all Iowans at no cost. Visit www.quitlineiowa.org or call 1-800-Quit-Now (1-800-784-8669).

Ashley Havenstrite
Tobacco Prevention
Specialist, CPS
Helping Services for Youth & Families

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