Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to kick your cigarette habit and improve your health in the New Year.
And it's a good thing you decided to. According to an article in the New York Times, studies show longtime smokers cut 10 years off their lives, but quitting by age 35 can buy back most of that time.
Overcoming a nicotine addiction can be tough, but with a few simple tips and some local resources to support you, it will be much easier to stick to your resolution.
There are plenty of resources in and around New Rochelle to help you stay on track.
The following list of health centers is provided by Westchester County's Health Department:
Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center
107 West Fourth Street
Mount Vernon, NY 10550
Phone: (914) 69-7200
St. John's Riverside Hospital
967 North Broadway
Yonkers, NY 10701
Phone: (914) 964-4928
Hudson River HealthCare
1037 Main Street
Peekskill, NY 10566
Phone: (914) 734-8991
Middle and High School students contact your Student Assistance Services Counselor (SAS):
Student Assistance Services Corporation
660 White Plains Road
Tarrytown, NY 10591
Phone: (914) 332-1300
Free workshops are available for students, faculty and staff at:
Sarah Lawrence College
1 Mead Way
Bronxville, NY 10708
Phone: (914) 395-2350
735 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase, NY 10577
Phone: (914) 251-6390
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
Phone: (914) 674-7233
861 Bedford Road
Pleasantville, NY 10570
Phone: (914) 773-3760
Now that you know of places you can turn to for support, start the quitting process by thinking about why you want to quit.
Are you worried you could get a smoking-related disease? Are you concerned smoking could prevent you from seeing your children or grandchildren grow up?
Record your reasons for quitting and keep the list with you at all times to serve as a reminder about why your resolution is important to you.
Setting a quit date is the next step toward success, according to the American Cancer Society.
Ditch the cigs this month when your mind and body are ready for a fresh, new beginning.
In the weeks leading up to your quit date, trade your favorite cigarettes for other, less appealing varieties. Switch to low-tar filters or menthols, for example, if you normally don't smoke those kinds of cigarettes.
This will make the habit of smoking less appealing, making it easier for you to quit. Once your quit date arrives, throw out all of your ashtrays, matches and lighters and go cold turkey.
Many smokers find that kicking the habit completely, with no nicotine replacements or medications, is the best bet.
If you relapse, don't panic. Identify what it was that triggered your desire to smoke and come up with ways to avoid and overcome that trigger in the future.
Quitting is a process and most smokers attempt to quit several times before they are able to do so for good—but don’t let that discourage you.
Neil Jones, whose name has been changed, is a retired physician who tried to quit smoking six times before committing to a cigarette-free lifestyle 27 years ago.
“When I was in medical school, I held a patient’s cancerous lung in my hands and saw what it was doing to their health. Afterwards, I stepped outside for a cigarette," he said. “It was really hard to quit but I knew I had to keep trying.”
If you aren't able to kick the habit on your own, or with aids such as nicotine gum or the nicotine patch, don't give up! Sometimes all you need is a little support. Ask your friends and family to aid you in your efforts to quit smoking.