Research indicates that smokers who successfully shun cigarettes during the first 24 hours of a quit attempt are 10 times more likely to kick the habit long term than those unable to stay smokeless for a day.
This should be encouraging news for smokers thinking about taking part in the upcoming annual Great American Smokeout on Nov. 18, says Dr. Beti Thompson, a cancer-prevention researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
"Whether practicing for the BIG quit attempt later or quitting for good now, the Great American Smokeout is a perfect opportunity for beginning the stop-smoking process," says Thompson, a member of the Hutchinson Center's Public Health Sciences Division.
Held annually on the Thursday before Thanksgiving, the Smokeout is an upbeat, good-natured effort to encourage smokers to give up cigarettes for 24 hours. The event is sponsored by the American Cancer Society.
Thompson offers the following tips to help smokers prepare for the big day:
The day of the Smokeout, you may feel sleepy, irritable, nervous or jittery -- all symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. When the urge to smoke hits, Thompson suggests practicing the "five D's":
Other general coping strategies for quit day include:
Editor's note: To arrange an interview with Dr. Thompson, please call Kristen Woodward at (206) 667-5095.
CONTACT: Kristen Woodward
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 12, 1999