Maybe you've tried to quit smoking a time or two and are leery about trying again. Joining a stop-smoking program may help boost your chances of success this time.
No two programs work the same way. However, look for ones that can help you:
- Learn how to avoid your smoking triggers
- Learn how to handle your cravings
- Get social support
- Stay on track
Studies have shown that the best programs include group or one-on-one counseling. In fact, telephonic or in-person support and counseling can double your chances of quitting for good.
When deciding on a program, you want to choose one that's going to work for you. Here are some things to consider.
Duration: When it comes to smoking-cessation programs, longer is usually better. Investing more time in it improves your odds for success. For that reason, try to avoid a program that ends too quickly. Look for programs that last at least two weeks and meet a minimum of four times. Each session should last at least 15 to 30 minutes.
Sponsorship: Look for a program backed by a reputable organization, such as the National Cancer Institute. Quality programs may also be available through local clinics or hospitals, or your city or county health department.
Training: Is the person leading the program a licensed counselor or clinical professional? Ask if he or she has training or certification in smoking cessation.
Structure: Is this a group program, or does it meet one-on-one? And which do you prefer? Some like the extra support offered by a group setting. Others are less comfortable with it. Think about what you want before signing up.
Finding a reputable program isn't as hard as you might think. It's often possible to find one through your employer or health insurance company. But you can also contact:
- Your state's quit line (1-800-QUIT-NOW)
- The National Cancer Institute (1-877-448-7848)
- Your doctor, local clinic, health department or hospital
Created on 09/13/2011
Updated on 01/28/2014
- National Cancer Institute. Free help to quit smoking.
- Smokefreewomen. How do quit smoking programs work?
- Smokefree.gov. Talk to an expert.
- Smokefree.gov. Explore quit methods.