It’s no mystery that smoking is tied to negative health effects—but quitting can be hard.

A new study found that to quit smoking “cold turkey” could be the best and most effective way to kick the habit. Results show that people who quit suddenly had a higher rate of success than those who quit gradually both at four weeks and six months after the quit date.

Many times those who quit gradually fall victim to the challenges of everyday life. Although you have good intentions, reducing the amount of smoking before quitting can cause discomfort, like cravings, which ultimately reduces the likelihood of quitting altogether.

Man and wife discussing lung health with a physician

Regardless of your approach, quitting is the most important goal. And you don’t have to take on quitting smoking alone—your loved ones, friends, community resources and healthcare team can all provide valuable support. Here are some of the ways you can find support:

  • Talk to your doctor. At any step in your healthcare journey, your care team can provide advice, answer questions and suggest medicine that could help with your symptoms of withdrawal that may not be available over the counter. Smoking can slow your recovery from surgery or illness, slow bone and wound healing, and contribute to many other more well-known risks. Speak with your primary care physician, dentist or even pharmacist to help you get on the right track.
  • Join a group or one-on-one class. Someone trained in supporting smoking cessation can help guide your journey over a designated time span to receive personal support, evidence-based practices and encouragement. A good place to start looking for these programs is through the American Lung Association.
  • 1.800.QUIT.NOW. This is a free, phone services that provides educational materials, coaches, a plan for quitting and referrals to local resources to help you quit tobacco use. Speak Spanish? Call 1.855.DEJELO.YA (1.855.335.3569) for the same services.
  • Visit SmokeFree.Gov. This user-friendly website provides tools and tips for wherever you are on your journey to being smoke-free. You can chat with experts online, sign up to receive daily text messages, download helpful apps, build your quit plan, read helpful articles and take quizzes to understand what your body is experiencing.
  • Get motivated by other former smokers. The Centers for Disease Control launched a powerful campaign called “Tips From Former Smokers” that shows real people facing serious health complications. While many know the dangers of smoking, it remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States.   

Kindred is proud to be a national partner of the American Lung Association. The ALA’s Freedom From Smoking program has been helping people quit smoking for more than 35 years, and it is ranked as one of the most effective programs in the country.

Smoking causes cancer, breathing problems, heart attacks and stroke. Secondhand smoke causes asthma and breathing problems. Speak with your doctor today about quitting. 

By Taylor Johnson