Posted: 7:00 PM (MST)
It’s that time of year again, and according to the Arizona Smokers Hotline, 34% of smokers will make quitting their New Year’s resolution. However, the percentage of those who are smoke free after one year is very low. But there is still hope.
Stephen Michael, the director of the Arizona Smokers Hotline, says January is the best month to quit. “What people are pointing out is that people who quit in January tend to be smoke free a year later at a much higher rate. What we find in our program is that 40% of people who quit in January will still be smoke free a year later. January is also a great time to quit because one third of people who want to quit will do so in January as a New Year’s resolution, so you will always have lots of support around you.” While the typical methods such as using nicotine patches or gum are always available, Michael says the ASH hotline quit coaches are a very effective way to stop smoking for good.
“The quit coaches are a great tool to use to help quit, and what we find is that people who use a coach are 4 times more likely to quit. There is no psychoanalysis, they are just someone there to help you put together a plan and execute it.”
A surprising statistic from a poll done by the American Legacy Foundation reveals that more than half the smokers surveyed do not talk about quitting smoking with their doctors, and Michael urges people to do so. “All doctors are supposed to be talking to all their patients who use tobacco about their tobacco use and encouraging them to quit. People should be encouraged to talk to their physicians, especially if they are looking at using any of the medications to help them quit because there can be side-effects with any medication.”
While it is the most common way people try to stop smoking, quitting cold turkey is the least effective, with only 2 percent of people smoke free using this method after one year.