Experts: Failure helps smokers succeed in kicking the habit

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) -  "Quit smoking" often tops the list of New Year's resolutions. If you're among the millions who will try to kick the habit this weekend, experts say you're more likely to succeed if you accept the fact that you are likely to fail.

"It's really important not to just quit on New Year's," said Dr. Cheryl Healton with the American Legacy Foundation, a group dedicated to help people stop smoking. "If you try it New Year's and by January 7th you're smoking again, just try again."

Healton said failures can become learning experiences, allowing you to see what -- and even who -- triggers you to reach for a cigarette.

She suggested writing down a few healthy distractions, like exercising or calling a friend, when confronted with the urge to light up.

"Let those that you love know that you intend to do this," Healton said. "Sometimes they will welcome it, sometimes they will be derisive. If they are unkind, make sure you find yourself a real support group."

Going cold turkey is nearly impossible for many long-term, heavy smokers. Healton said they may need behavioral counseling, medication or nicotine replacement products.

Studies showed that last year, nearly 70-percent of adult smokers said they wanted to stop and more than half tried to quit.

For more information about quitting smoking, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or go to

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