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5 Surprising Ways to Quit Smoking Cigarettes

March 14, 2018

More than 42 million Americans reach for cigarettes regularly, but almost 70 percent of them say they want to quit. What gives? Maybe the traditional ways to quit smoking, such as going cold turkey or wearing a nicotine patch haven’t worked for them in the past. Thankfully, there are plenty of new ways to kick the smoking habit. Here are five approaches to consider if you’re trying to quit.

1. Download a Quit Smoking App

There are plenty of downloadable a quit smoking apps ready to coach you along the way. Features include expert advice on how to get started, motivational tips to keep you on track, and cost-savings calculators. Some also link to a community of people going through the process so you can receive support and encouragement from others who are right there with you on your journey to quit. Many former smokers recommend the LIVESTRONG MyQuit Coach, a free app available on iTunes that can be tailored to your preferred way of quitting—whether you’re ready to cut cigarettes cold turkey or gradually reduce the number of packs you smoke every week.

2. Make a Financial Bet With Yourself

According to a 2015 study from The New England Journal of Medicine, putting money on the line can help you quit. The researchers found 15.7 percent of people successfully quit for at least six months when they were offered an $800 reward. Don’t have anyone willing to hand you $800 for your efforts? Set aside your own money as a deposit that you’ll get back if you successfully quit.

3. Ask HR How Your Job Can Help

Many employers offer smoking cessation programs, which reward you with cash, savings on insurance, or other perks for not taking a puff. According to the American Lung Association, up to 57 percent of their smoking cessation program participants reported quitting smoking by the end of the program. Ask your employer if they have such programs as Freedom From Smoking®, offered by American Lung Association. Most smoking cessation programs work with your insurance to make it affordable to get the help you need.

4. Quit Smoking with Meditation

For many smokers, the act of lighting up is automatic. But a Yale University study found meditating and practicing mindfulness can cancel that relationship and slash cravings. If you need some guidance on the meditation front, consider a mobile app like Stop Smoking – Mindfulness Meditation App to Cessation Smoking Support.

5. Talk to Your Doctor About Medication

Over-the-counter nicotine patches are designed to lessen withdrawal symptoms and have been a go-to for decades. But if those haven’t worked for you, talk to your doctor about prescription medications that reduce cravings or make smoking less enjoyable.