Quitting smoking is a daunting endeavor for many—and the cost involved for regular treatment may be no small part of that. The good news is that you can quit smoking for free. Here, learn about free sources of assistance that can help you kick the habit without emptying your wallet.
Free Quit Smoking Programs and Support Groups
Online Quit Smoking Communities
You're not alone in the battle to quit smoking. The following programs can help:
Smokefree.gov, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. State governments, offers free tips, tools and resources to help you quit smoking. Call the national toll-free quit line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW to speak to an experienced smoking cessation counselor. The counselor can provide free support, a personalized quit plan, and self-help material to help you deal with smoking withdrawal and cravings. If you’re looking for local clinics in your area, the counselor can also provide referrals.
The good folks at the American Lung Association (ALU) and the American Cancer Society are in your corner to give you national and local support services. The ALU, for example, offers the Freedom From Smoking® program as a group clinic, an online program, or a self-help book. You complete lessons and modules on your own schedule. You can also speak to a cessation counselor at the toll-free Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA.
Quitnet.com, sponsored by Healthways in cooperation with the Boston University School of Public Health, allows you to post questions and concerns regarding your efforts to quit smoking. You connect with your peers—smokers who are quitting and ex-smokers—via forums, clubs and chat rooms.
Whyquit.com, developed by Joel Spitzer, a Chicago nicotine dependency prevention expert, is another supportive free online community offering "motivation, education and support for cold turkey nicotine cessation." Forums, articles and video quit smoking lessons are part of the offerings.
Neversmokeagain.com, started by lay author Peter Goodman, is a free resource providing willpower tools that can help you get free from nicotine addiction.
In-Person Quit Smoking Programs:
Local quit smoking classes provide help where you live. Start by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW for referrals, or check your local yellow pages for quit smoking clinic locations. If you’re a veteran, VA facilities across the U.S. offer smoking cessation services.
As you start your quit smoking journey, make sure you've got a strong foundation for the reasons why you're quitting. With a solid 'why', and 'how,' quitting becomes much easier. Put your reasons in writing and post the list where you’ll see it every day for motivation.
Just remember that you’re not alone. Get all the free help you can to quit; it just might save your life.
By: Daniel P. McGoldrick
American Lung Association: Available at http://www.lungusa.org/stop-smoking/how-to-quit/. Accessed June 7, 2011.
Neversmokeagain.com. Accessed August 2, 2011.
QuitNet: Available at http://www.quitnet.com/qnhomepage.aspx Accessed June 7, 2011.
Quit Smoking with Never Smoke Again: http://www.neversmokeagain.com/. Accessed June 7, 2011.
Smokefree.gov. Accessed August 2, 2011.
Whyquit.com. Accessed August 2, 2011.