Want to quit smoking in 2020? Consult a professional to break the addiction

MASON CITY — One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to quit smoking, and a survey finds 70-percent of Iowa smokers want to quit, while 50-percent will try to quit in 2020.

There are mixed messages circulating about how vaping can help smokers to kick the habit, messages that are blatantly false, according to Erika Sward, spokeswoman for the American Lung Association.

“We know that smokers are confused,” Sward says. “Smokers want to end their addiction and not be held hostage by nicotine and tobacco products.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not found any e-cigarette to be safe and effective in helping smokers quit, she says, and the Lung Association is urging smokers to step away from all tobacco and nicotine products, and not switch to vaping.

“The Lung Association believes that every smoker can quit, and can quit for good,” Sward says. “We know that it’s hard, but if smokers want to talk to their doctors or call 800-LUNG USA or call 800-QUIT NOW, they can work with someone who is an expert at helping people end their addictions for good.”

Surveys find about 16-percent of Iowa adults smoke cigarettes and more than 5-percent use e-cigarettes. As for Iowa teens, about 4.4-percent smoke cigarettes while 22-percent of Iowa 11th graders use e-cigarettes. Breaking the addiction can be very difficult and the advice of a professional may be key.

Sward says, “Every person takes a slightly different approach to how they can be most successful at quitting, and that’s why it’s important to work with someone with that experience, including the American Lung Association, to find the exact way they can be most successful in improving their health for 2020.”

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported nearly 50 cases of serious illness related to vaping during 2019.

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