This New Year’s many Idaho residents will try to quit smoking. Despite their efforts to quit, many individuals will begin smoking again. Research has shown that 70 percent of smokers want to quit,1 but only 3% to 5% of smokers remain quit after one year without help.2 As 2010 comes to a close and smokers may be considering making a quit attempt in 2011, it’s important to know that while quitting isn’t easy, it is possible. And, a support program and treatment plan can help.

For the 16.9 percent of Idaho residents who smoke, this is an opportunity to join forces with health care providers, family and friends create a plan to quit. Each year there are approximately 1,500 smoking-attributed mortalities in Idaho, and an estimated 220 non-smoking Idaho residents die prematurely from secondhand smoke. It’s time to help ourselves and our loved ones quit smoking!

Dr. Mark Johnson of Primary Health Medical Group Meridian Clinic offers these basic tips:

  • Understand That Quitting Is Difficult

o   Nicotine is highly addictive, and smoking should be addressed as a treatable medical condition.3

  • Make a Plan to Quit

o   Visiting a health care provider is an important first step. A health care provider can inform smokers about options to help them stop smoking and develop a quit plan that meets their specific needs. Smokers can learn about a prescription treatment option and how to make a quit plan.

  • Get Support

o   In addition to their health care provider, smokers can seek support from their family, friends, and online or local support groups.

Click here to listen to the full interview Top Story interview with Dr. Johnson.