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Smokers Urged to Kick the Habit for a Day [AUDIO]

Person Smoking
Flickr User John Abel

More than 4,000 New Jerseyans will die from lung cancer this year alone and smoking is one of the greatest risk factors surrounding the disease. Today is the ‘Great American Smokeout’ and Dr. Michael Steinberg, Director of the Tobacco Dependence Program at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, is urging all smokers to kick the habit for the day.

“We know how difficult it is, we know it’s one of the hardest things people can try to do,” said Steinberg. “But treatments are available and there are resources out there to help.”

Most people who smoke have reasons as to why they want to quit. “Many don’t want to have an addiction anymore, it’s expensive and they have children and pets and plenty of reasons to think about quitting,” said Steinberg. “Many have even tried to quit numerous times before, but were unsucessful.”

There are treatments available. “It doesn’t make quitting smoking an easy thing to do, but it makes it much easier and you’re feeling much more comfortable so you can be successful in quitting,” said Steinberg.

There are three main components to treatment. First, there is the behavioral aspect. “We encourage people to try and change their behaviors, mix things up and break those routines and rituals,” said Steinberg. “The second piece is using medications to help reduce nicotine cravings. This allows a smoker to be more comfortable as they are attempting to quit.”

Lastly, social support groups and follow up are key. “It’s important for those attempting to quit to meet with and talk to other people going through the same thing,” said Steinberg. “There is no one way to quit smoking, but the more things you can do to add to your success, the better off you’ll be.”

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