Now’s a great time to kick the habit

Each year thousands of people make resolutions. With the winter months upon us, there is less incentive for people to stand outside and smoke a cigarette. This is an ideal time to help folks quit smoking cigarettes and begin living a healthier lifestyle.

Many begin the new year determined not to begin smoking again, but within a matter of days and sometimes in just a matter of hours, these same people who were determined never to smoke again are puffing away with other smokers. The key to success in quitting is support; from a specialist, your doctor, the New York State Smokers Quitline, a friend, or by taking classes.

As a health care provider, I see the progress that New York State has made with its tobacco control program. I have worked closely with Roswell Park’s Tobacco Cessation Center North. Through this program, I have received training and materials on treating tobacco dependence for my community and clients who are trying to quit this deadly addiction.

Quitting tobacco has the power to change our individual lives, our families, our community and even our state. It is a great feeling when I have been able to help one of my clients quit. The impact, of course, is good for their health but also for their wallet.

For a personalized quit plan and a free starter kit of nicotine replacement therapy, such as the patch or gum, call the New York State Smoker’s Quitline at 1-866-NYQUITS or visit

Anton Alisankus, BS, CASAC