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The Joint Commission

Arkansas Quitline-"Stamp Out Smoking"

Good Reasons For Quitting

  • You will live longer and better
  • Quitting will lower your chance of having a heart attack, stroke, or cancer
  • The people you live with will be healthier
  • You will have extra money to spend on things other than cigarettes

Five Keys For Quitting
Studies have shown that these five steps will help you quit and quit for good. You have the best chances of quitting if you use them together:

  1. Get Ready
    • Set a quit date
    • Change your environment
      1. Get rid of ALL cigarettes and ashtrays in your home, car and place of work
      2. Don't let people smoke in your home
    • Review your past attempts to quit; Think about what worked and what did not
    • Once you quit, don't smoke-NOT EVEN A PUFF!
  2. Get Support & Encouragement
    • Tell your family, friends and coworkers that you are going to quit and want their support; Ask them not to smoke around you or leave cigarettes out
    • Talk to your healthcare provider
    • Get individual, group, or telephone counseling; The more counseling you have, the better your chances are of quitting
    • Arkansas Methodist Medical Center offers Smoking Cessation classes to members of the community
  3. Learn New Skills & Behaviors
    • Try to distract yourself from urges to smoke: Talk to someone, go for a walk, or get busy with a task
    • When you first try to quit, change your routine; Use a different route to work, drink tea instead of coffee, eat breakfast at a different place
    • Do something to reduce your stress: Take a hot bath, exercise, read a book.
    • Plan something enjoyable to do every day
    • Drink a lot of water
  4. Get Medication & Use It Correctly
    Medications can help you stop smoking and lessen the urge to smoke.
    • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved five medications to help you quit smoking:
      1. Bupropion SR-available by prescription
      2. Nicotine gum-available over the counter
      3. Nicotine inhaler-available by prescription
      4. Nicotine nasal spray-available by prescription
      5. Nicotine patch-available over the counter
    • Ask your healthcare provider for advice and carefully read the information on the package
    • All of these medications will more or less double your chances of quitting and quitting for good
    • Everyone who is trying to quit may benefit form using a medication. If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking medications 
  5. Be Prepared For Relapse Or Difficult Situations
    Most relapses occur within the first 3 months after quitting. Don't be discouraged if you start smoking again. Remember, most people try several times before they finally quit. Here are some difficult situations to watch for:
    • Drinking alcohol lowers your chances of success
    • Being around other smokers can make you want to smoke.
    • Many smokers will experience weight gain when they quit, eat a healthy diet and stay active, don't let weight gain distract you from your main goal
    • Bad mood or depression

If you are having problems with any of these situations, talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider. 

Special Situations or Conditions
Studies suggest that everyone can quit smoking. Your situation or condition can give you a special reason to quit.

Pregnant women/new mothers:
You protect your baby's health and your own 

Hospitalized patients:
You reduce health problems and help healing 

Heart attack patients:
You reduce your risk of a second attack 

Lung, head, and neck cancer patients:
You reduce your chance of a second cancer 

Parents of children and adolescents:
You protect your children and adolescents from illnesses caused by second-hand smoke

Call the Cardiac Rehabilitation Department at Arkansas Methodist Medical Center at 870-239-7303 for more information or to register for a smoking cessation class.

National Tobacco Sites:
The American Cancer Society
The American Heart Association
Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids
The American Lung Association
The National Association of Attorneys General
The American Legacy Foundation