CHAMPAIGN — If you made a New Year's resolution to quit smoking, help is available through the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District.
The district will offer the eight-week Freedom from Smoking program, starting Jan. 17.
The program is open to anyone in Champaign County age 18 and older for $20. Anyone who completes six of the eight sessions gets half the fee refunded.
Program coordinator Nikki Hillier said an eight-week nicotine patch supply is included with the program, and that's new this year. Participants used to get only a four-week patch supply, and had to buy their own patches for the other four weeks, she said.
It's generally tougher to quit smoking alone than with the help of program and support network, Hillier said, though some people are successful quitting solo.
"It really depends on the individual," she said.
But smokers do quit more successfully with both medication and a quit-smoking program in combination than using either alone, Hillier said.
Many insurers also require people using quit-smoking medication to take a class to help them break the psychological addiction and emotional and social ties they have to smoking, she added.
In the eight-week Freedom from Smoking program, the participants work together but also develop their own individual quit plans. The first two weeks are spent preparing, and then everybody quits together on the third week, Hillier said.
The rest of the classes are spent giving participants the tools they'll need for success, addressing such topics as other health behaviors, for example managing stress, she said.
"A lot of people relapse because they use cigarettes to cope with stress. Now they don't have that tool," Hillier said.
Another topic addressed is adding physical activity, she said.
People do tend to gain some weight when they quit smoking, Hillier said, but it's not inevitable — especially for those who add some physical activity.
The classes will meet at 5:30 p.m. at public health headquarters at 201 W. Kenyon Road, C. Seating is limited and pre-registration is required.
To register, contact Hillier:
By phone: 531-2914
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org 
The American Lung Association offers seven tips to make a resolution to quit smoking stick:
1. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about quit-smoking treatments or medications.
2. Look into help options available. See http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking . Or call 1-800-586-4872 for suggestions.
3. Make a plan to quit: Pick a quit date (preferably not during a stressful time, such as near holidays) and mark it on the calendar. Have medications ready as the day approaches and know how you'll handle smoking triggers when they arise.
4. Get daily exercise to fight weight gain, improve your mood and boost your energy. Walking can help fight the stress of quitting.
5. Eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of water and get enough sleep.
6. Seek support from family, friends and co-workers.
7. Realize you don't have to quit alone and help is available online and in the community. Consider joining a stop-smoking program.