Ready to Stop Smoking?

no smoking signIt is difficult to quit smoking, but there are many health benefits with quitting. If you prepare to quit first it will be easier and you will be more likely to stick with it. The tips in this handout can help you to get more prepared to quit.

Get Ready

  • Pick a quit date
  • List personal reasons to quit
  • Explore your treatment options
  • Get rid of all cigarettes and ashtrays in your home, car, and work
  • Get support
  • Make a list of your favorite times to smoke and what you will do during those times instead

Explore Treatment Options

There are many different ways to stop smoking. Talk to your health care provider about your options and pick the best way for you depending on your lifestyle, personality, and the number of cigarettes you have been smoking.

It may be helpful to have medications that can help you ease out of your nicotine addiction. Talk to your health care provider about medications such as:

  • Prescription medicine
  • Nicotine gum
  • Nicotine patch

Get Support

Tell your family, friends, and co-workers you are going to stop smoking. Form a community of people who can help you as you take on this challenge. Talk to your health care provider about suggestions he or she has for you.

There are quit lines or other resources you can call for support:

Learn New Skills and Behaviors

  • Try changing your routine to distract yourself from the urge to smoke.
  • Reduce your stress level and drink a lot of water.
  • Come up with rewards to give yourself to help you stay motivated.

Avoid Relapse Triggers

Be prepared for difficult situations that will tempt you to relapse. If you plan ahead of time you can avoid the temptation to smoke and stay on your quit plan.

  • At first, avoid places that make you want to smoke
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Eat a healthy diet and stay active
  • Ask family and friends not to smoke around you
  • Remind yourself why you want to quit

Your Quit Plan

  • What is your quit date?
  • Why do you want to quit?
  • Who can help you quit?
  • What can you do instead of smoke?
    • Go for a walk
    • Call a friend
    • Eat a piece of fruit
    • Chew sugarless gum
    • Take deep breaths
    • Your idea
  • What are ways you can handle “slips”?

  • The urge to smoke usually passes in 2-3 minutes. When an urge comes on close your eyes and just focus on breathing.
  • Withdrawal symptoms usually last 1-2 weeks after quitting smoking.

Used with permission from the Community Health Association of Mountain/Plains States (CHAMPS)