How to kick your smoking habit in 2016 and make it last

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 1, 2016)-- It's one of the most common New Year's resolutions: to quit smoking.

It's also one of the hardest habits to break, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try.

"It takes people on average about seven times to quit smoking," said Holly Wheeler with the Partnership for Healthy Hamilton County.

Indiana has the seventh highest smoking rate in the country and continues to be among the leading causes of preventable death in our state. Partnership for Healthy Hamilton County wants to set Hoosiers up with a game plan to stick to that resolution. First set a quit date and get everyone on board to help you stick to it.

"Tell your friends and family because they are going to be a huge network support for you. Ask them to help you through this process because it is so difficult," said Wheeler.

And here's the tough part: identify your smoking triggers like your morning cup of coffee that you normally have a cigarette with, or remove all the ash trays from your home. Think of it as a complete lifestyle change that could save your life from the many illnesses health professionals attribute to smoking.

"Heart conditions, diabetes, people who smoke aren't as active so there's a connection between smoking and obesity and overweight," said Wheeler.

And if you get a craving, try these steps to take your mind off of lighting up a cigarette.

"I say walk around the house a couple times. Because the cravings are going to last between 5 and 10 minutes. Some people I say hug your child because that's also going to remind you of the reason why you're quitting."

There is also some free help for Hoosiers. You can call 1-800-Quit-Now for support and other useful resources.