You've made a big decision. You're
going to quit smoking.
Quitting is hard, and you probably know
this. Maybe you've quit before. If so, that's normal. Most people quit many
What can you do to make it more likely that you'll kick
the habit for good?
One important part of quitting smoking is
getting help from those around you. Your family, friends, coworkers, and
community groups all can help you.
The following information also
applies if you use other tobacco products, such as chew or snuff.
Tell people that you're trying to quit. Don't hide your attempt
because you're afraid people will see you fail. Most people know how hard it is
to quit smoking and that many smokers have to try several times before they
Support can help you quit smoking, and experts
recommend getting support from friends, family, and coworkers. Former smokers can often offer advice and inspiration.
Support comes in many forms. It can be positive words and actions,
helpful tips, or gentle reminders to stay on track.
can help you quit smoking, you have to ask for help. Many people are wary of
helping. They may feel that asking how you are doing is the same as nagging you and that
this may make it harder for you to quit.
Tell people that you're
quitting and that you want their support. Make clear what you expect. Do you
want to ask a friend to call you each day, or every couple of days, to see how you are doing? Or would you prefer to ask your friend if you can call when you need support? Be sure to tell people how much help you want.
Let people know what to expect
when you quit and how they can help.
Tell others that as you stop using tobacco, you may be nervous or grouchy. Ask them for their patience, because your moodiness and cravings will pass.
Ask others to invite you to
activities to help keep your mind off smoking. Tell them that you'll invite
them to do things too. Try going for lunchtime walks, going to movies, or
getting involved with a hobby.
Plan special celebrations with your
family and friends when you reach one of your quit-smoking goals.
Find someone else who wants to quit, and agree to be "quit
buddies." This may make quitting easier. You know that someone is sharing the
same goals. Your buddy can help you when you're having a craving.
Tell people the specific ways they can help you. You may ask one friend to call
or visit you to see how it's going. You may ask another friend if you can call
when stress causes a craving or just to talk things over.
Talk with others about your fears. For example, many people are worried about
gaining weight when they quit smoking. If you are worried about gaining weight, tell a close friend about your fear. Ask for his or her support in being more active and making good food choices.
Smokers usually have
triggers, which are things that make you want to
smoke. Family and friends can help you avoid them.
Ask friends and family not to take you to
places where people smoke.
Identify your triggers, and ask for
help avoiding them. For example, if you always have had a smoke with a coffee
break, ask a coworker to come by your desk at this time for a chat or a quick
Drinking alcohol is often a trigger. You may need to give up alcohol while you are quitting smoking.
Talking to other smokers
Friends who smoke or who
have quit smoking can help you.
Talk to people who have quit smoking. They
understand what you're going through and can help you through your cravings.
Ask them how they got through times when
they wanted to smoke again.
Ask them about the good things that
quitting smoking has done for them, such as a change in their health and sense
Ask them for any tips on how to make it easier and
about using medicine, classes, or phone hotlines for quitting.
Ask people who smoke not to smoke around you.
Ask them to keep ashtrays and cigarette packs out of sight.
live with someone who smokes, see if that person wants to quit smoking with you. If not, talk with him or her about not smoking in front
of you and about setting up smoke-free areas.
Other types of support
Many people reach beyond
family and friends for support. Here are some ideas:
Tell your doctor the good news that you are planning to quit. Your doctor may suggest medicine to help you quit. Or if you were thinking about trying nicotine replacement, he or she can help you decide whether to use just one product or if a combination might work best for you.
Get advice and support. This can be by telephone, one-on-one,
or in a group. The more support you get, the better your chances of quitting.
Counseling sessions can also help you if you start smoking again.
support group for people who are quitting smoking.
People who have quit or are quitting know what you're going through and can
quit-smoking program. Your doctor may be able to
suggest one. You can also find programs on the Internet.
Internet. The Internet gives you 24-hour access to information about quitting
smoking and to chat rooms that can provide support.
Try a free stop-smoking app if you have a smartphone, tablet, or other handheld computer device. National Cancer Institute's QuitPal allows you to track your progress and share your successes on social networking sites. It also allows your friends and family to record inspiring videos that you can play when you are having a hard time with cravings or stress.
When you quit, pass it on. Be sure
to support other smokers who are trying to quit.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.