Make A New Year's Resolution To Start A Smoke-Free Life

Man tossing cigarettes, once and for all Do you even remember the New Year's resolutions you made last year? If you're like most Americans, you may think resolutions are made to be broken. Make 1997 memorable and make a life-long commitment to yourself-quit smoking. Whether it's New Year's Eve, New Year's Day or sometime next week, set a date to stamp out your smoking habit and start enjoying the rest of your smoke-free life.

If you've tried to quit before and failed, the recent FDA approval of over-the-counter availability of nicotine replacement therapy-such as Nicorette® nicotine gum and the NicoDerm® CQª nicotine patch-now gives smokers easier access to proven quit-smoking aids. Don't let one failed attempt get you down. On average, smokers try about four times before they quit for good.

Nicotine is the substance in cigarettes that keeps many people hooked on smoking. Cancer and heart disease are caused by the other 4,000 chemicals and carbon monoxide in cigarettes. Nicotine replacement therapy provides just enough nicotine to help relieve nicotine cravings-without the harmful ingredients in cigarettes-while allowing people to concentrate on changing their behaviors.

Since non-prescription nicotine replacement therapy comes in two forms-gum and patch-smokers need to evaluate their smoking habits and history in order to choose the right therapy for them. Nicotine gum provides active craving control, allowing users to control their dosage of nicotine and to fight cravings as they happen. Nicotine patches provide a steady, continuous dose of nicotine over a period of either 24 hours or 16 hours. Smokers who crave cigarettes in the morning may prefer a patch that delivers nicotine for 24 hours.

Smokers can take the following quiz to find out which form of nicotine replacement therapy is best for them. Check the sentences that apply to you:

If 2 of the 3 sentences above were checked, then nicotine gum may be the best choice.

If 2 of the 3 sentences were checked, then the nicotine patch may be the best choice.

To help a person focus on changing the rituals and habits connected to smoking, Nicorette and NicoDerm CQ offer a personalized stop smoking support program called Committed QuittersSM. Participants in the program are asked about smoking habits, roadblocks to quitting, etc. This information is used to develop individualized support and educational materials that are mailed periodically throughout the 12 weeks of Nicorette or eight to 10 weeks of NicoDerm CQ therapy. In addition, Committed Quitters participants will also receive valuable discount coupons for activities that support a positive, healthy lifestyle.

For people who want to quit smoking in 1997, help is available. For more information about quitting smoking, consult with a pharmacist or other health care professional.(NAPSI)

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