April 16, 2014

Not too late to quit smoking

We’re already a week into the new year and if your resolution is to quit smoking, it’s not too late.

Dr. Michael Fiore is Director of the Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention at the UW Medical School. He says it’s a great time to quit smoking. “As I talk to smokers across Wisconsin  most of them now say they want to quit, they’re tired of the cost — the average smoker of a pack a day is spending $200 a month on their cigs — they’re tired of the smell, they’re tired of what it does to their own health and the health of their family members.”

The good news is, Fiore says, there are now treatments available that can improve your odds of success, even if previous attempts failed. He says a smoker is more likely to succeed in kicking the habit after the second or third time around. “And the more times you’ve tried, in fact, the more likely it is you’ll ultimately succeed, but what I always tell folks, you know, stack the odds in your favor. And that is, take advantage of the science-based treatments — the counseling and the medicine that are out there. It’s crazy to do this on your own when there are such treatments that are available. I’m not a purist about how people quit. I think the key goal is just to succeed.”

If you tried to quit cold turkey, you’ll have the lowest chance of success. Fiore suggests you see your doctor, get medication, and seek counseling to increase your odds of quitting for good by up to 40 percent. There’s a great resource in the Badger State, it’s the Wisconsin Tobacco Quitline: 1-800-QUIT-NOW. Fiore says, “It’s a great time to quit, don’t give up, keep at it, you’ll succeed.”

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:48