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7 Healthcast

Quitting smoking requires assistance, and persistence

UNDATED (NBC) -- The New Year begins with cheers, a kiss if you're lucky - if you're a smoker -- it often means a renewed commitment to stop smoking.

"At any given time, 70% of smokers say that they want to quit," said Dr. Cheryl Healton of the American Legacy Foundation.

A former smoker herself, Dr. Cheryl Healton and her team at the American Legacy Foundation surveyed 1,500 smokers. Of those who were making a resolution for 2013 - a third said it'd be to quit smoking.

But without help -- most of those good intentions go up in smoke within a week. If it was a New Year's resolution -- that time came.

"Not enough people use known tried and true methods. Lots of people try to just do it on their own instead of getting help," said Dr. Healton.

Help begins with talking to a doctor -- who can recommend nicotine replacement products or prescription medications.

It also requires re-learning life without cigarettes.

"You have to kind of map out when you're used to having cigarettes and get work-arounds for all those times so that you reduce the kind of cravings that are associated with it," said Dr. Healton.

If you've relapsed since New Year's Day -- you're not alone.

Some smokers must try as many as 11 times before they succeed.

Do it monthly - and you can ring in 2014, smoke-free.