"Mastering the Art of Breaking Free: 5 Strategies to Quit Smoking Permanently"

1. Commit to quitting

The first thing is deciding, ‘I need to do this for my overall health. I need to do this to protect my lungs, to prevent a heart attack,’” Dr. Baman said. “If you’re doing it because your family member wants you to stop smoking, researchers have determined that’s not as successful as if you decide for yourself

2. Find a partner 

Having someone who will support you and hold you accountable can help you stick it out when things get tough.That can be another person going through the same thing who also wants to quit smoking, or someone who is committed to encouraging you.

3. Pick a start date – and stick to it

The decision to quit smoking doesn’t demand an instant response.If you’re struggling to stop smoking, pick a date in the future that will be the first day of your smoke-free life. “It can be in two months from now, but it gives you a goal and a process to get where you want to be on a certain date,” Dr. Baman said.

Nicotine gum, patches and lozenges can safely help reduce the urge to smoke. “What we don’t recommend is switching to an electronic cigarette,” Dr. Baman said. “We don’t know what the chemicals do in the long term. People often think that’s a safe approach, when in reality it may not be any better than smoking. We need more data on what is in those electronic cigarettes.”

4.Nicotine alternatives can help – but pick a safe one

5.Keep trying until you succeed 

Overcoming a nicotine addiction is difficult, but it’s never too late to set yourself on a path for a healthier life. “The people who have the mental fortitude can overcome it, but it can be difficult. It’s something you have to persevere toward. Failing once is OK. You have to try again and again,” Dr. Baman said.