Once you decide to stop smoking, you don’t have to go it alone. Here’s what to try:
- 1800QuitNow (smokingstopshere.com). “You can call and get connected to a professional counselor who will walk you through the process of quitting,” says pulmonologist Dr. Nathan Cobb. “It’s the best tool—and it’s free, offered by every state.”
- Becomeanex.org. Cobb, who also does research for the American Legacy Foundation in Washington, D.C., recommends this website run by that organization. “You can get advice, learn about the quitting process, and interact with people who are quitting or who have quit. It’s a fabulous resource to tap the brains of other smokers or ex-smokers for advice,” he says.
- The American Lung Association. The organization’s website offers education about quitting and local resources.
- Medications. Your doctor may recommend a prescription medication that can quell the desire to smoke. “They’re often used with nicotine replacements like nicotine gum or a patch,” says Dr. Thomas Yadegar, a pulmonary critical care physician in Los Angeles. Nicotine replacements help address physical withdrawal symptoms that can last three to six weeks.