Stick With Resolution of Stop Smoking

January 11, 2005 – Posted at 2:43 p.m. CST

JONESBORO – The first New Year's resolutions began in 4000 BC in Babylon, where the most popular resolution was to return farm equipment. These days, resolutions have become a little more complicated and usually involve breaking a bad habit, and quitting smoking is often at the top of the resolution list for millions of Americans.

"It is a proven fact that smoking will cause cancer. It will happen to you in some point in time. Therefore, the best thing is to try and quit," said Pharmacist Ken Gibson, "It does take about seven to ten years for your body to get back to almost normal."

Within 20 minutes after your last cigarette your heart rate and blood pressure will return back to normal. Within 72 hours, your sense of taste and smell will also return. But quitting smoking is something that's often easier said than done.

"They say nicotine is just as tough to quit as heroine is, it's just as addictive," said Gibson.

And there are plenty of addicts...The American Heart Association estimates that more than 48 million Americans are smokers. But quitting cold turkey is, for the most part, a thing of the past.

"There's the gum that's available, there is a lozenges that's available, and there is a patch that's available. All of these are equipped to give the body the nicotine which it is addicted to," said Gibson.

Pharmaceutical drugs such as Wellbutrin and Zyban have been shown to reduce smoking. But if traditional medicines don't work, there are still other options.

"What I want to hear from a client is yes, I'm ready, I want to quit smoking, because with hypnosis, I can make you do nothing that you don't want to do," said Certified Hypnotherapist Jim Pope.

Pope says he has a 75% success rate in helping smokers quit.

"It's almost impossible without some type of help to quit smoking. Because those cravings are overwhelming," said Pope.

Using support groups can also help.

"A lot of New Year's resolutions have been made and these people are wishing to stop smoking and we are trying to help them out as much as we can," said Gibson.

The American Cancer Society reports there are more than 400,000 deaths in the U.S. every year from smoking related illnesses.