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Choosing a Stop-Smoking Program
Not every stop-smoking program is the same. Here's what to consider before settling on one.

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Choosing a Stop-Smoking Program

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.

Getting started
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
By Gregg Newby, Contributing Writer
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?
  • Talk to an expert.
  • Explore quit methods.
Copyright © OptumHealth.
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