Set a meaningful quit day.
This is the day that you will stop using tobacco. Pick a meaningful day—your birthday or that of a loved one, the anniversary of a special event, a holiday or any other day that has special meaning to you.
Tell others about your quitting plans.
Let others know that you are planning to quit tobacco and how they can help. Asking others to not use tobacco around you, asking for more patience from them during this time or asking them for extra support are good things to communicate to them.
Anticipate challenges, especially during the first few weeks.
Know situations that trigger you to use tobacco—morning coffee, driving, waking up, and work breaks are just a few. Urges to smoke are common and normal and usually occur in predictable situations. Urges last about 10 minutes, so using strategies for urges is important.
Prepare your environment for your quit attempt.
Remove all tobacco products and accessories from your home and clean all tobacco debris from places where tobacco is used. Preparing your environment before you quit can help eliminate situations that trigger urges.
- Develop your coping skills.
- These three strategies are effective when dealing with urges:
- Avoid – avoid people, places or things that trigger you to use tobacco
- Alternatives – have alternatives to tobacco readily available
- Adjust – adjust your schedule, habits or situation
- Find the strategies that work for you and keep using them.
- Use quit medications.
Talk to your health care provider or tobacco cessation coach about quit medications. The following 7 medications have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for you to quit tobacco:
- Varenicline (Chantix®)
- Bupropion SR
- Nicotine gum
- Nicotine inhaler
- Nicotine lozenge
- Nicotine nasal spray
- Nicotine patch
More information about quitting tobacco
National Jewish Health is the largest non-profit provider of tobacco cessation services in the U.S., serving 11 states and multiple health plans and corporations. Since beginning our QuitLogix Program in 2002, we have assisted over 775,000 people with their quit attempts and have consistently achieved an average quit rate of 34 percent across the full spectrum of demographic groups, geographic cultures, education levels and socioeconomic classes. Call 1.800.QUIT.NOW (800.786.8669) to be connected to a quitline service provider in your area.
This information has been approved by Amy V. Lukowski, PsyD (November 2012).