Follow these steps to quit:
- Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) for free support and to set up your quit plan.
- Talk with your doctor about medicines to help you quit.
- Set a quit date within the next 2 weeks.
- Make small changes, like:
- Throw away ashtrays in your home, car, and office so you aren’t tempted to smoke.
- Make your home and car smoke-free.
- If you have friends who smoke, ask them not to smoke around you.
- Plan for how you will handle challenges like cravings.
Here are some more tips to help you quit.
Write down your reasons to quit.
Make a list of all the reasons you want to quit. For example, your reasons to quit might be to set a healthy example for your kids and to save money. Keep the list with you to remind yourself why quitting is worth it.
Change your routine.
Changing your routine can help you break the smoking habit.
- Try taking a different route to work.
- For the first few weeks, avoid activities and places you connect with smoking.
- Do things and go places where smoking isn’t allowed.
- Make getting active and eating healthy part of your quit plan. Go for walks and try different foods.
Quitting may be hard, so prepare yourself.
Remember, the urge to smoke will come and go. Here are some ways to manage cravings:
- Do something else with your hands, like washing them, taking a shower, or washing the dishes. Try doing crossword or other puzzles.
- Have healthy snacks ready, like carrots, nuts, apples, or sugar-free gum.
- Distract yourself with a new activity.
- If you used to smoke while driving, try something new. Take public transportation or ride with a friend.
- Take several deep breaths to help you relax.
Take this withdrawal quiz every day to see your progress.
Break the connection between eating and smoking.
Many people like to smoke when they finish a meal. Here are some ways to break the connection:
- Get up from the table as soon as you are done eating.
- Brush your teeth and think about the fresh, clean feeling in your mouth.
- Try going for a walk after meals.
Deal with stress.
Manage stress by creating peaceful times in your daily schedule. Try relaxation methods like deep breathing or lighting candles.
Check out these tips on dealing with stress as you quit.
Stick with it.
When you stop smoking, you may feel:
You may even have trouble sleeping.
Don’t give up! It takes time to overcome addiction. Check out these tips on staying quit.
Learn from the past.
Many people try to quit more than once before they succeed. Most people who start smoking again do so within the first 3 months after quitting. If you’ve tried to quit before, think about what worked for you and what didn’t.
Drinking alcohol, depression, and being around other smokers can make it harder to quit. If you are finding it hard to stay quit, talk with your doctor about what medicines might help you. Remember, quitting will make you healthier.
If you’ve tried to quit before, check out this booklet about how to commit to quitting again [PDF - 797 KB].
If you want help, talk with your doctor.
A doctor or nurse may be able to help you quit smoking. The doctor can help you choose the strategies that are likely to work best for you. She can also tell you about medicines to help make quitting easier.
Get more information about the different types of medicines that can help you quit.
What about cost?
You can get free help with quitting by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or by visiting smokefree.gov.
Also, some services to help people quit smoking are covered under the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law passed in 2010. Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to get these services at no cost to you.
Check with your insurance provider to find out what’s included in your plan. For information about other services covered by the Affordable Care Act, visit HealthCare.gov.