Quitting smoking can be hard to do, but it's a step that most cigarette smokers want to take, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And despite its difficulty, many people succeed. In fact, the CDC reports that the number of former smokers has exceeded the number of current smokers since 2002.
It's possible to quit smoking on your own, of course, but many people find that getting support helps them quit more easily. The following four resources are available to help metro Atlanta residents kick the habit:
The Georgia Department of Public Health operates a Quit Line 24 hours a day, seven days a week for people 13 years or older who live in Georgia. It provides telephone and web-based counseling, which makes getting help easy. Smokers who are 18 and older can also get a free four-week supply of nicotine gum or patches while supplies are available.
Services are available in English, Spanish and for the hearing impaired:
English: 1-877-270-STOP (7867)
Hearing impaired: 1-877-777-6534
Smoking cessation classes
Smoking cessation classes are offered by many metro Atlanta hospitals, including the following:
A seven-week afternoon or evening smoking cessation class is available at Northside Hospital's Atlanta, Cherokee and Forsyth locations. It's primarily conducted in a group setting, but web-based sessions are also included. Call 404-780-7653 for more information.
Gwinnett Medical Center
Gwinnett Medical Center offers a four-class Freshstart program that was created by the American Cancer Society. It's taught by trained facilitators and gives information, support and strategies to help you quit smoking.
Piedmont Healthcare offers classes based on the American Lung Association's Freedom from Smoking Curriculum. Classes range from four to eight weeks long and are available at the hospital's Atlanta, Fayette and Henry locations.
Over-the-counter or prescription help
Your doctor can prescribe a nicotine replacement therapy aid such as an inhaler or nasal spray. He or she may also recommend patches, gum or lozenges, which you don't need a prescription for.
In addition, you can talk to your doctor about the possibility of taking a prescription medication such as bupropion (Zyban), which helps reduce the urge to smoke and nicotine withdrawal, or varenicline (Chantix), which also reduces withdrawal and the urge to smoke in addition to blocking the effects of nicotine if you start smoking again. Many options are covered by private insurance or by Georgia Medicaid.
Some studies have shown that hypnosis may help certain people quit smoking, according to WebMD. It's often used to make smokers associate the habit with unpleasant sensations or effects. If other methods have failed, hypnosis might be worth a try. The following are some of the metro Atlanta businesses that offer smoking cessation hypnotherapy:
Atlanta West Hypnotherapy
4268 Canton Road, Marietta. 770-928-0394. atlantawesthypnotherapy.net/stopsmoking.html.
Sean Wheeler, the "Heartbreak Hypnotist"
3495 Piedmont Road NE, Suite 112, Building 12, Atlanta. 678-488-7362. heartbreakhypnotist.com.
Hypnosis Center of Dunwoody
3 Dunwoody Park, Suite 103, Dunwoody. 770-390-0444. hypnosisdunwoody.com/site/.
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