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Letter: Make 2014 the year you quit smoking for good

For the New Year, finally quit smoking

11:41 AM, Dec. 29, 2013  |  Comments
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EDITOR: As 2013 comes to a close and we all start looking forward to the possibilities of a new year, I invite those who use tobacco to think about quitting their addiction in 2014.

If you're looking for good reasons to quit, here are a few to keep in mind:

? I will have more money to spend.

? I will be able to smell food, flowers and other things better.

? I will protect my friends and family from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

? I will set a great example for my kids; it takes a lot of strength to quit.

The first step to quitting is to set your quit date. Jan. 1 is as good a date as any, so think about making that the day you become tobacco-free.

Another good early step is identifying your triggers. Common triggers can include feeling stressed, drinking coffee or taking a work break.

You'll also want to think about how to handle cravings. Some ideas might include:

? Wait 15 minutes. Challenge yourself to read a magazine, listen to music, or play your favorite game for 15 minutes. Cravings only last a few minutes!

? Review your reason for quitting. Just one puff will feed your craving and make it stronger. Starve the craving by reminding yourself why you want to be smokefree.

? Do something else. When a craving hits, stop what you're doing immediately and do something else. Simply changing your routine can help you shake off a craving.

It's important to know that you don't have to do it alone. Free quit tobacco use help is available through the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line at 800-QUIT NOW. The staff at the Quit Line has helped thousands of tobacco users quit through the years, and they can help you too.

No one ever said quitting tobacco use is easy, but it's worth it. To those trying to quit - stick with it. And to those thinking about quitting, know that you can beat your addiction and live a tobacco-free life.

Dorothy Kalmon,

Central Wisconsin Tobacco-Free Coalition,

Wausau

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