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New Year’s resolution to quit smoking? Help is available

MASON CITY – New Year resolutions are common this time of year. Some are easily broken; others are sincerely made, but hard to keep. The decision to eliminate tobacco from your life is a commitment that takes self-control and support. The Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health reminds residents who have made the healthy choice to quit smoking that help and support is available through Quitline Iowa.

In Iowa, 16.7 percent of adults smoke. One in four Iowa adults uses tobacco in some form; cigarettes are the most used. Tobacco is the leading cause of death for Iowans, taking the lives of more than 4,400 adults each year.

“The benefits of stopping the use of tobacco are almost immediate,” said Penny McCaslin, Tobacco Program Coordinator with the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health. “According to the American Cancer Society, within 20 minutes, your heart rate and blood pressure drop. Within 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. Within two to three months, your circulation improves and your lung function increases. After one year of living tobacco free, the excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a continuing smoker’s.” Even so, nicotine is an addiction and breaking that addiction can be challenging. Quitline Iowa can provide help.

Quitline Iowa pairs tobacco users with a Quit Coach® to help them develop an individualized quitting plan and determine the best way to help them stay tobacco-free. A Quit Coach® also helps by:
Preparing participants for their quit date.

Providing tips and support to live in a smoke-free environment.
Offering advice and information on medications that may help with withdrawal symptoms.

Cerro Gordo County residents can take advantage of the program by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), or visiting to enroll. Registration specialists and Quit Coaches® are available 24 hours a day.

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As someone who tried everything to quit smoking for years the best way I found is to just make up your mind you want to do it and throw away everything associated with smoking and stop. I did and I had smoked for over 50 years. It’s been 10 years now since I quit and it is well worth it just for the money saved. That’s not to mention how much better you will feel.

Yes, and I would add: Have healthy snacks available–baby carrots, celery, popcorn, etc.

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