How to Quit Smoking

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The first step to quitting smoking is to recognize that the process will be challenging, and to acquire as many resources as possible. Draw on the support of family members and coworkers in an effort to quit smoking with help from a pulmonary disease research expert in this free video on quitting smoking.

Part of the Video Series: Effects of Smoking
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Video Transcript

Hello, I'm Dr. David Burns. I'm a Professor Emeritus at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. And the question is how you quit smoking. The first step is to recognize that it can be quite a challenge, and smoking's a very powerful addiction and it's often very difficult for people to stop smoking. So the first step is to recognize that it's difficult and to marshall as many resources as you can. One of the things that's very clear is that the more resources -- the more resistance that you get -- the more likely you are to quit. Among the things that you can draw on for assistance in your own experience and environment are family support and support from your co-workers at your place of employment and from friends and others around you. In addition, getting assistance from a telephone quit line or other form of smoking cessation assistance, particularly cessation clinics, can be extraordinarily helpful in achieving abstinence. In terms of medication, one of the things that is readily available now are over-the-counter medications -- nicotine patches and gum -- and they work very well for people. They about double your success rate. So those are well-worth trying. And in addition, if you can go to your physician, you can get support from your physician to quit smoking as well as some additional medicines that can increase your rate of cessation by about two-and-a-half- to three-fold. So the key is to take it seriously, to try seriously, to get as much assistance as you can. And if you fail, don't take that as a permanent failure, but rather as a slip and try again to quit.

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