(NAPSI)—According to Minnesota Adult Tobacco Survey (MATS) data, 14 percent of Minnesota adults smoke. More than half of adult Minnesotans who smoke every day have attempted to quit for at least one day, according to MATS.

Even better news is that 63 percent of Minnesota adults who have ever smoked have quit already. If you or someone you care about would like to be among them, here are five steps from the experts at QUITPLAN® Services, a free program that can help you quit smoking with as little or as much support as you would like:

1. Set a quit date. Commit yourself to picking a date and mark it on your calendar. Give yourself a few weeks to prepare for this big day and treat your quit date with the same level of importance as other life-changing events.

If you find yourself ready to make the move to tobacco-free living but "don't really know when," you can talk with former tobacco users about what they did and get support from QUITPLAN Services.

2. Get support. Quitting can be difficult to do alone. Getting help and support from a trained coach or counselor can make a big difference. Research shows that counseling increases your chances of quitting. Support can come from friends and family, your health care provider or from QUITPLAN Services. These provide text messages, e-mail support, a downloadable quit guide and free "starter kits," which include a two-week supply of nicotine patches, gum or lozenges. In addition, tobacco users can speak to a quit coach over the phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week for support and help in quitting.

3. Make a list of triggers and alternatives. Identifying the situations and experiences that make you want to light up is important. Coming up with distractions or substitutes can help you overcome your cravings in these situations. Cravings will happen as your body weans off nicotine but if you're prepared and know what to do, you can beat them. Change it up; put a wrench in the routine that tried to suck you into smoking—whether it's going somewhere different, doing something different, or just taking a few moments to collect yourself.

4. Look in your wallet. Quitting isn't just good for your health. It's good for your wealth, too. You'll save money from your first tobacco-free day. You might be amazed how much you'll save when you aren't buying cigarettes every week. You can find out from the quit smoking calculator at www.quitplan.com. If you smoke a pack a day, you would save nearly $3,000 in just one year and more than $14,000 in five years. Quitting can even help you win money. QUITPLAN Services offers monthly Mini-Quit Mondays, when Minnesotans can win $100 for participating, and the chance to win a grand prize of $5,000.

5. Remember WHY. No one can tell you your own personal reasons for quitting but reminding yourself why you're quitting can help keep you on track. Whether you're quitting for your health, your future, family and friends, savings or just so you won't have to stand out in the cold for a smoke break, think about that reason and keep reminding yourself you can do this because you have your eye on the prize that is your "why."

Learn More

For further facts and advice about ways to quit smoking, as well as helpful resources, visit www.quitplan.com or call (888) 354-PLAN (7526).

On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)