Saturday, April 15, 2017

Quit Smoking Today

By Elizabeth Spurrell-Huss, L.C.S.W., M.P.H., Population and Community Health, Montefiore Health System

HEALTH NEWS– This winter, Montefiore achieved Gold Star Status as part of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Tobacco-Free Hospitals Campaign. This initiative supports hospitals in NYC leading the way in creating wide-ranging smoking cessation services for patients and associates.

Now it is easier than ever to get the support you need to quit smoking. Talk with your provider, social worker, or health educator to help you get started.

1. Make a quit plan:
Develop your own quit plan or find a quit program that works for you. A quit plan combines strategies that help you stay focused, confident, and motivated to quit. You might decide to use a quit program like Plan My Quit (, or call the New York State Smokers Quit Line at 1-866-NYQUITS (1-866-697-8487 FREE) or visit today to get started.

Write down why quitting is important to you and post it somewhere you will see it often as a reminder.

2. Stay Busy:
Staying busy is one of the best ways to stay smoke-free on your quit day and for the days after. Make a list of activities you enjoy and refer to it when you have an urge to smoke. Some ideas include:
A night out with a non-smoking friend
A walk around your favorite park
A fitness class
Learn a new skill like knitting or painting
Reading a good book/watching a funny movie
Taking photos of people/places you love
Writing emails/letters to friends or family-tell them about your plan to quit!

3. Avoid Smoking Triggers:

Triggers are the people, places, things, and situations that tempt you to smoke. On your quit day and the days after, it’s best to avoid them. Here are a few tips to help you overcome some common smoking triggers:
Throw away your cigarettes, lighters, and ash trays
Avoid caffeine, which can make you feel jittery. Try drinking water instead.
Spend time with non-smokers.
Go to places where smoking isn’t allowed.
Get plenty of rest and eat healthy. Being tired can trigger you to smoke.
Change your routine to avoid the things you might associate with smoking.

4. Stay Positive:
Quitting smoking is difficult. It happens one minute… one hour… one day at a time. Try not to think of quitting as forever. Pay attention to today and the time will add up. It helps to stay positive. Go back and look at your list of reasons to quit. Your quit day might not be perfect, but all that matters is that you don’t smoke—not even one puff. Reward yourself for being smoke-free for 24 hours. You deserve it. And if you’re not feeling ready to quit today, set a quit date that makes sense for you.

5. Ask for Help:
Tell your friends and family that today is your quit day. Ask them for support during these first few days and weeks. They can help you get through the rough spots, but make sure to tell them how they can support you.
Other supports:
Explore the resources available to help New Yorkers quit smoking
Contact the NYS Smokers Quit Line 1-866-NYQUITS (1-866-697-8487 FREE)
Visit today
Visit the Quitters Circle—
Plan your quit at
Check out these Smoking Cessation Phone Apps:
The Plan Q app, available at the Apple Store and Google Play Store supports your quit smoking journey. Use code NYKB to access the app.

American Cancer Society Quit For Life app— Apple Store and Google Play Store

The American Lung Association & Pfizer’s Quitter’s Circle app— Apple Store and Google Play Store

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