Even thinking of quitting is a positive step! Make a list of all the reasons you want to quit. Writing them down helps motivate you, and it strengthens your resolve to quit. Some common reasons for quitting include:

• I will breathe easier.

• I will be healthier.

• I will save money.

• My body and clothes won’t smell like tobacco.

• I won’t have to worry about looking for places to smoke.

• My friends and family won’t be exposed to secondhand smoke.


Decide on a day you will stop smoking and make a plan to quit. Know your smoking triggers. Make a list of your smoking triggers, and then plan how to avoid them.

For instance:

• I smoke after meals. Instead, I can chew gum, have coffee or leave the table.

• I smoke in the car. Instead, I can ride the bus, carpool, or sing with the radio.

• I smoke when stressed. Instead I can take deep breaths and learn relaxation techniques.


There are many ways to quit smoking. Decide on which method(s) are best for you, then create your personal plan.


TAPERING: Beginning on your quit date, gradually cut back on the number of cigarettes you smoke each day. Mark on your calendar the day you will no longer smoke.

COLD TURKEY: This means you stop smoking all at once on your quit date. It’s a good idea to throw away your cigarettes and lighters and avoid other people who are smoking.

NICOTINE REPLACEMENTS: You can buy nicotine patches and gum at any pharmacy or drug store to help manage withdrawal. They work by releasing small amounts of nicotine into your body. A nicotine nasal spray is available by prescription.

NON-NICOTINE PRESCRIPTION: Your medical provider may prescribe medications such as Zyban to help control nicotine cravings or Champix, a nicotine blocker.

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Plan Ahead for Support

Quitting smoking can be hard. Having support can help you stick to your plan and get through rough parts. You can:

• Call a free quitline or contact us to get support.

• Join a cessation group so you can be with others who are quitting.

• Ask an ex-smoker in the community to be your guide and support person.

• Make a list of people you can call when you have an urge to smoke.

• Tell friends and family you are quitting and ask for their support.

First, remind yourself that you have quit and that you are now a non-smoker. Look closely at your urge to smoke and ask yourself these questions:

Where was I when I got the urge?

What was I doing?

Who was I with?

What was I thinking?


Then, try these strategies:

• Remind yourself why you are quitting

• Call a friend or family member for support and encouragement.

• Keep your hands busy – doodle, knit or text.

• Wear a rubber band around your wrist. When you really feel like you want a cigarette, snap the rubber band a few times.

• Picture a red stop sign.

• Chew on gum, a straw or a mint toothpick.

• Find activities like exercising, gardening, washing the car or showering that make smoking difficult.

• Avoid people who smoke, and spend more time with non-smoking friends.

• Change your surroundings; get up and move around and do something else.

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Mistakes happen, and if you have a relapse remember that it's just a slip. Don’t let it be an excuse to continue smoking.


• Don't let it be an excuse to continue smoking.

• Set a new quit date or renew your resolve to quit smoking.

• Call your support team and ask for encouragement to try again.

• Make a plan to cope with whatever triggered your smoking.