Dec 29, 2011 12:42 PM
(NBC) - Resolve to quit smoking this weekend and 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. If you try it New Years, and by January 7th, you're smoking again, just try again," says the Dr. Cheryl Healton.
Dr. Healton, a former smoker, is president of the American Legacy Foundation, a group dedicated to helping people quit smoking.
She says failures can become learning experiences allowing you to see what, and even who, triggers you to reach for a cigarette.
Write down a few healthy distractions, like exercising or calling a friend, when you feel the urge to light up.
"Let those that you love know that you intend to do this. Sometimes they will welcome it, sometimes they will be derisive. If they are unkind, make sure you find yourself a real support group," Dr. Healton says.
Going cold turkey is nearly impossible for many long-term and heavy smokers.
They may need behavioral counseling, medication or nicotine replacement products.
The main message from the experts on becoming an ex is to make your resolution over and over again.
"Don't just do it once a year; do it as often as you humanly can," Dr. Healton advises.
Last year, nearly 70-percent of adult smokers said they wanted to stop smoking.
More than half attempted to quit.
You can find more information about quitting through www.BecomeAnEx.org or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.