December 28, 2006
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Contact: Jerry Carey
Phone: (856) 566-6171
Quitting Smoking Doesn't Have to be Another Failed Resolution
NEWARK - It’s one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions and one of the hardest to keep. That’s because quitting smoking is more than just breaking a bad habit. It’s an attempt to kick a very real physical and behavioral addiction.
“Many people who try to quit smoking fail do so because they believe the myth that going ‘cold turkey’ is the only way to succeed,” said Dr. Rick Boyd, an associate dean and the director of the UMDNJ-School of Public Health’s Tobacco Dependence Clinic in Newark. “In reality, the best way to quit smoking is a combination of counseling, nicotine replacement and some of the new medications for smoking cessation. Studies have shown that this combination can actually quadruple a smoker’s chances of quitting for good.”
Dr. Boyd listed some other tips for those who are trying to quit:
- Plan your quit date. Pick a specific date in the near future and stick to it.
- Involve others in your plan. Make sure friends and family members are aware that you are trying to quit so that they can provide encouragement and support.
- Anticipate withdrawal symptoms and know how you will handle them. You may become cranky, have trouble sleeping or feel the need to eat.
- Clean up your living space. Get rid of ashtrays, lighters or anything else that reminds you of smoking. Let others know that smoking is no longer allowed in your house or car.
- Know your smoking routines and triggers. For example, do you always smoke when you drink coffee or talk on the phone? Being aware of these triggers can help you break that behavioral connection.
- Focus on the rewards. Calculate how much money you will save by quitting and make a plan for rewarding yourself when you are successful.
Contact your physician or one of the New Jersey Quit Centers for help. A list of centers is available at www.tobaccoprogram.org/quitcenters.htm.
“Keep in mind that the benefits of quitting go well beyond financial rewards,” Dr. Boyd added. “Within a day, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops. After a few months, your lungs begin to clear and a year after you quit, your risk of heart attack is half that of the person who continues to smoke.”
To request an interview with Dr. Boyd, please contact Jerry Carey, UMDNJ News Service at (856) 566-6171 or at (973) 972-3000. More information about the UMDNJ-School of Public Health Tobacco Dependence Clinic at Newark is available by calling the clinic at (973) 972-7431 or by sending an e-mail to TobaccoClinicNewark@umdnj.edu.
UMDNJ is the nation's largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 5,500 students attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and its only school of public health, on five campuses. Last year, there were more than two million patient visits to UMDNJ facilities and faculty at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a mental health and addiction services network.