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Great American Smokeout Is Thursday
Date:11/15/2012

s do 21 percent of blacks. Smoking is most common among younger people and those with less education and lower incomes.

As always, it's extremely difficult to quit smoking. "The science is becoming more rigorous and shows that it's as difficult to quit as cocaine and heroin," Dobbins said.

Smoking is a difficult habit to break because it's such a routine part of people's lives, he said: "You smoke on your break, you smoke when you're eating lunch."

There are a wide variety of strategies to quit smoking, including cold turkey, counseling and medications like nicotine patches. "A combination of counseling and drug therapy will have much more success than quitting cold turkey," Dobbins said. "You'll decrease your chances if you don't look at the entire tool kit of things that can help you."

Don't give up if you relapse, Glynn said.

"What we generally find works best is earning it by going through the difficult process of trying, slipping, trying again, slipping, trying again," Glynn said. "Most smokers will take four, five, six, seven quit attempts before becoming successful."

What doesn't work? Acupuncture and hypnosis are popular but don't work for the vast majority of people, Glynn said.

There are many online resources to help you quit smoking.

The American Cancer Society, for example, offers a cigarette cost calculator to show how much money you're spending to smoke. It also has a guide to the benefits of quitting smoking and a quiz to gauge whether you need help to quit.

More information:

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