Guest Editorial: Don’t let slips stop your resolution to quit smoking

New Year’s resolutions do not always go according to plan. Studies indicate that by the second week of February, about four out of five resolutions fail. Quitting smoking is no different. For many smokers, it can take several attempts to quit for good.

The Florida Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Florida program wants you to know that slips and relapses are common among people trying to quit smoking. Aslipis one or two cigarettes after you quit. A relapsemeans going back to smoking regularly. While most slips or relapses occur within the first three months after quitting, they can happen anytime. People who stop smoking often start again because of withdrawal symptoms and stress.

“If you had a slip up or relapse, we encourage you to get back on track with Tobacco Free Florida’s proven-effective resources,” said Lacoadia Burkes, Interim Bureau Chief of Tobacco Free Florida. “Our free tools and services can significantly increase your chances of quitting tobacco for good.”

Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way program offers free Phone Quit, Group Quit and Web Quit services, in addition to individual tools like texting support, a Quit Guide and helpful emails. Free nicotine replacement therapy – nicotine patches, gum or lozenges – are available to tobacco users who are 18 or older, if medically appropriate.

For more information, please visit tobaccofreeflorida.com/quityourway.

Tobacco Free Florida is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida’s tobacco settlement. Since the program was established in 2007, Tobacco Free Florida has helped more than 212,000 Floridians successfully quit tobacco via free tools services, according to the Florida Department of Health. There are now approximately 451,000 fewer adult smokers in Florida versus 10 years ago, saving the state an estimated $17.7 billion in healthcare costs. For more information, visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.comor follow the campaign on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TobaccoFreeFloridaor on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tobaccofreefla.

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