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New Year, new smoke-free you
Photo courtesy: Quit Smoking Facebook

By Joshua Pilkington

Resources available to kick the habit

The gym is bustling. More people are taking in fresh air by hiking, walking and running the trails and a bevy of individuals are trying something called superfood, which is not a cheeseburger with a cape. The new jolt of healthy habits can only mean one thing. A new year has begun and with it a new series of resolutions, most of which revolve around health.

“This year I’m really going to focus on getting in shape and changing the way I treat my body,” said Marcus Jansen, 28, who said he had a similar resolution in 2016 and 2014. “I think I did pretty well in 2015, so I’m looking to go back to that regimen. I’d like to run a half marathon, so I think training for that will help me accomplish the overall goal of getting in shape.”

Jansen isn’t alone. According to data pulled from Google by iQuanti, the most popular resolutions for 2017 are “Get Healthy”, “Get Organized”, and “Live Life to the Fullest.”

“I think most people like the idea of getting healthy,” said Adam Morales, a personal trainer in Denver. “But you have to come with a goal. Health can be measured in so many ways and through so many methods that just to say, ‘I want to get healthy,’ isn’t something that can really be quantified. To quantify it, you have to decide what healthy is and build a program from that.”

For many “healthy” is to do or to stop doing a variety of habits. On the to do list, according to Morales, might be to work out a certain amount of days a week. On the not to do list, is where some people encounter their more difficult challenges.

“I usually hear it every year,” Morales said. “People want to stop eating junk food, stop drinking and quit smoking.”

Quit smoking is a resolution that for a major part of the 20th Century was often at the top of many resolution lists; now, however, the allure of smoking has waned as campaigns against tobacco have increased along with the number of deadly diseases associated with tobacco consumption.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cigarette smoking is still “the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths every year, or one of every five deaths.”

There is a light at the end of that dark tunnel, however, as smoking has decreased significantly in the last 10 years. In 2005 the CDC estimated that about 21 of every 100 adults (20.9 percent) had smoked at least 100 cigarettes during their lifetime. That number has decreased to about 15 of every 100 adults (15.1 percent) in 2015.

For many of those who quit smoking the struggle is real. Jansen said he spent almost 10 years of his life smoking cigarettes before a dire diagnosis made him reconsider that life choice.

“When my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer about four years ago, I knew I needed to change my habit,” he said. “I tried my first cigarette when I was 12, but didn’t really start smoking until I was 14. By the time my mom got the news, I was probably going through about a pack-a-day and had attempted to quit and failed a good six or seven times over the years.”

Though the diagnosis of his mother is what ignited the desire in Jansen to quit, he needed help and got it through the Colorado QuitLine.

“It was kind of like having a personal trainer for smoking,” he said. “They had me set a date for quitting, I had to figure out what triggered the desire and what to do to avoid it and I wrote down a plan on how I was going to quit and why I wanted to quit. It was pretty comprehensive.”

Jansen said he was able to follow through with his plan and though he missed his original quit date by about six months, he has now been smoke free for three years.

“Now I just have to work on all the other stuff,” he said.

For information on the Colorado QuitLine call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit





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