Resolution Help: Quit Smoking

Knoxville (WVLT) - One of the top New Year's resolutions this year is to quit smoking.

And just days into 2007, Volunteer TV's Gary Loe brings you expert advice to help smokers kick the habit, and keep their new year's resolutions.

Tobacco sales at the Smoke Pit in Halls are brisk, despite a number of cigarette customers who resolved to stop smoking this New Year.

"Business has just been great, very rarely do we lose any customers," owner Kim Conner's been in business more than a dozen years, she's seen smokers struggle with their resolutions.

"We'll have them say, I'm going to quit, then they're back in the next day or the next week," says Conner.

Smoke Pit customer Fran Miller enjoys smoking, but plans to kick the habit.

"I think it's a terrible addiction," she says.

Miller may need a little help stopping smoking.

"It's definitely not easy, but it's something that if people do stop smoking, it's going to impact the quality and quantity of their lives forever," says Amy Fields from the American Cancer Society.

A spokesperson for Knoxville's American Cancer Society encourages smokers who want to stop to consider using medication to quit. Prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines help with withdrawal symptoms. Remove tobacco reminders, including lighters and ashtrays. Avoid places where smokers gather. And consider smoking cessation resources.

Experts say even if you've tried to quit before and failed, don't let it get you down.

"I know smoking is not good for me, and I'm just waiting for that right time to stop smoking," says Fran.

On average, smokers try about four times before they quit for good.

The American Lung Association reports more than 9,600 Tennesseans die from smoking-related illnesses each year.