Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

July 26, 2013

Plot plan to quit

OK, so maybe today isn’t the perfect day to quit smoking. For years, the experts were preaching that any day was a good day to quit, and they had annual campaigns encouraging people to give up the habit.

The campaigns raised awareness, and they led many smokers away from tobacco.

Now, though, the experts are beginning to recognize that to be successful in quitting, many smokers need to do some planning. Most of us can’t just toss away that pack of cigarettes, never to light up again.

Today, however, is a great day, at the very least, to make plans to quit.

State health officials will announce the return of the Quit Now Indiana contest next month. Hoosiers who stop smoking can win cash prizes of up to $2,500 for remaining tobacco free throughout the month of October.

The American Cancer Society says smokers who prepare to quit by lining up nicotine replacement therapy and planning how they will deal with cravings greatly increase their likelihood of success.

Check out the cancer society’s website, cancer.org, for a downloadable guide to quitting tobacco, plan a stop date between now and Oct. 1, and sign up for the Quit Now contest sometime in September for a chance to win some money.

What are you waiting for?

Quitting smoking is one of the most important steps anyone can take to ensure better health. That decision alone can lead to a lower cancer risk and a longer life.

Smokers who quit at age 35 gain an average of eight years of life expectancy. Those who quit at 55 gain about five years, and even long-term smokers who quit at 65 gain three years.

If you haven’t already plotted out your strategy to quit, today would be a great day to start.

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