Three tips for quitting smoking

The Great American Smokeout, organized by the American Cancer Society, takes place the third Thursday in November. But anytime is a great time to quit or make a plan.

Visit the Great American Smokeout page for resources (app, game, helpline), and consider using the tips below to kick the smoking habit!

1.    Pay yourself to quit.

In one research study, some smokers were offered $800 if they quit and remained smoke-free for six months. Others were asked to pay $150 of their own money up front, with the promise they’d get that money back if they stayed smoke free. Turns out, smokers with their own cash on the line were twice as likely to quit.

Set your own dollar figure and time commitment, and then give that cash to a trusted friend or family member who will hold you accountable. As an extra incentive, promise that money to a charity or political cause you don’t actually want to support.

You can use the stickK app (free for Android and iPhone) to do the same thing — pledging money if you fail to reach your goal. You also can opt to have other stickK supporters cheer you on with motivational messages along the way.

2.    Talk to your employer.
Find out if your company has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) with smoking cessation resources. Smoking increases your health risks, so your employer benefits when you quit. Chances are good that they’ll be able to connect you with a free support program (plus insurance savings and other incentives if you’re successful)!

3.    Ask about anti-smoking medication.

Prescription drugs are available to help you quit. Studies show that some tobacco-cessation medications double your success rate for quitting. Talk to your doctor to find out if prescription help might be right for you.