Want to be smoke-free in 2010? Start preparing now.

As we approach the beginning of the new year, many of us are considering our New Year resolutions for 2010. For many smokers, quitting will be near the top of the list. Particularly in these tough financial times, many smokers are deciding it doesn’t make financial sense to keep smoking. When it comes to new year resolutions, it’s not essential that the change start immediately from midnight on December 31st, but if there isn’t a plan to get started pretty soon afterwards there’s a real risk that the planned change never happens.

With the holiday season upon us, along with its parties and overeating, few of us are planning to start the diet or quit the cigarettes between now and New Year’s Eve. But when it comes to quitting smoking, there may be a few steps in preparation that can be made now that will make you more likely to successfully follow-through with a plan at the beginning of the new year. Here are a few things that should be considered:

1. Are you going to get any help, like seeing a smoking cessation specialist, calling a quitline or seeing your doctor?

2. Are you planning on taking any smoking cessation medicines, and if so will they require a doctor’s prescription?

3. Which day is going to be your “quit day” – the day you will quit smoking completely?

Once you start thinking about these questions, you will see that if you want to quit smoking successfully around the beginning of the new year, you may have to start taking some steps now. For example, if you are thinking of taking one of the prescription medicines like varenicline or bupropion, you should arrange to see your doctor now to get your prescription. These are both medicines that should be taken for a week prior to your planned quit day. Even if you aren’t sure about taking a medicine but plan on getting some counseling support, now is the time to start making phone calls to get that organized.

If you are unsure where to access counseling in your part of the United States you may want to call the national quitline number at: 1-800-QUITNOW (1-800-784-8669).
You can also use the “search health experts” box on the right side of this blog to find other sources of help and information on specific topics. Just type in “smoking “ and whatever other topic you are interested in and it should find something. is also a helpful website. Best of luck.
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About the Author

MA, MAppSci, PhD

Dr. Jonathan Foulds is an expert in the field of tobacco addiction.