Seven tips to quit smoking in 2017

By Marcy Ivory - Contributing Writer

SPRINGFIELD — Quitting smoking is not easy, but quitting for good is possible. Try following these seven tips used as part of the Community Mercy REACH, Alcohol, Drug and Tobacco Treatment program:

Choose a quit date: 
• At least 3 weeks from the date your plan begins.
• Choose a time that is in your regular rhythm of life.

Journal the reasons why you want to stop smoking 
• Improved health, breathe easier, smell better
• feel good about self/be in control
• more energy and more money

Identify your smoking patterns and focus on change by reducing your use by at least 50% prior to quitting: 
• Complete a tobacco log and adjust your daily routine

Identify the positive behavior that will replace the 50%, such as exercise, new hobby, and relaxation techniques. 
• Decide if you will use a medication or Nicotine Replacement Therapy to help ease withdrawal symptoms:
• Antidepressants
• Nicotine Replacement Therapies- Patch, Gum, Lozenge, inhaler, nasal spray
• Chantix
• Combination

Identify your triggers and attempt to avoid people, places and things that will tempt you: 
• Caffeine/alcohol
• Other smokers
• Stress/boredom/after meals/driving

Identify coping skills that will assist you with your triggers: 
• Drink more water or switch to juices, tea
• Plan events with non-smoking friends and non-smoking places
• Relaxation, stress management
• Develop a quit kit-healthy snacks, hard candy, gum, toothpicks, rubber bands

Get support and plan for a healthier lifestyle:
• Eating healthy and exercising
• Get more rest and take a multivitamin
• Reward yourself

Make the commitment, accept the challenge, reduce barriers, prepare to quit…develop a plan, and prepare for a lifestyle change. Let REACH assist with your New Year’s resolutions. The first free treatment program begins Jan. 9. For more information, call 937-390-5338.

Marcy Ivory is a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist and the Tobacco Education Coordinator at Community Mercy REACH. 
Healthy Springfield: About this series 

Many readers responded to a report late last year that ranked Springfield as the least healthy city in Ohio. That response — including wanting to make a positive difference — prompted the Springfield News-Sun to take a closer look at the community’s health. This year the News-Sun dug into the public health issues facing the city, including obesity and minority health disparities and efforts to improve them.