Building Your Plan To Quit
One of the keys to a successful quit is preparation. A great way to prepare to quit tobacco is to create a quit plan. Quit plans:
- Combine quit strategies to keep you focused, confident, and motivated to quit
- Help you identify challenges you will face as you quit and ways to overcome them
- Can improve your chances of quitting tobacco for good
The following steps will help you to create your own customized quit plan. As you move through the steps, keep a record of your plan and have it readily available during your quit.
Pick a Quit Date
When it comes to choosing a quit date, sooner is better than later. Many tobacco users choose a date within two weeks to quit. This will give you enough time to prepare. Really think about your quit date. Avoid choosing a day where you know you will be busy, stressed, or tempted to smoke (e.g., a night out with friends or days where you may smoke at work).
Let Loved Ones Know You Are Quitting
Quitting tobacco is easier with support from important people in your life. Let them know ahead of your quit date that you are planning to quit. Explain how they can help you quit. We all need different things, so be sure you let friends and family know exactly how they can help.
Remove Reminders of Tobacco
Getting rid of tobacco reminders can keep you on track during your quit. Tobacco reminders can include your cigarettes, matches, ashtrays, dip cups, e-cigarette chargers and lighters. It may also help to make things clean and fresh at work‚ in your car‚ and at home. Even the smell of cigarettes can cause a cigarette craving.
Identify Your Reasons to Quit
Everyone has their own reasons for quitting tobacco. Maybe they want to be healthier, save some money, or keep their family safe. As you prepare to quit, think about your own reasons for quitting. Remind yourself of them every day. They can inspire you to stop tobacco for good.
Identify Your Tobacco Triggers
When you use tobacco, it becomes tied to many parts of your life. Certain activities, feelings, and people are linked to your use of tobacco. When you come across these things, they may “trigger” or turn on your urge to smoke. Try to anticipate these tobacco triggers and develop ways to deal with them.
Develop Coping Strategies
Nicotine is the chemical in cigarettes that makes you addicted to tobacco. When you quit tobacco, your body has to adjust to no longer having nicotine in its system. This is called withdrawal. Withdrawal can be unpleasant, but you can get through it. Developing strategies to cope with withdrawal ahead of your quit can help ensure you stay tobacco-free for good!
Have Places You Can Turn to For Immediate Help
Quitting tobacco is hardest during the first few weeks. You will deal with uncomfortable feelings, temptations to smoke, withdrawal symptoms, and cigarette cravings. Whether it is a support group, or good friend, make sure you have quit tobacco support options available at all times.
- SmokefreeTXT: A mobile text messaging service designed for adults and young adults across the United States who are trying to quit smoking.
- Quit Smoking Apps: Mobile phone applications can help you prepare to quit, provide support, and track your progress.
- Support Groups: Visit your county or state government’s website to see if they offer quit tobacco programs in your area.
- Friends and Family: Getting support from the important people in your life can make a big difference during your quit.
Set Up Rewards for Quit Milestones
Quitting tobacco happens one minute, one hour, one day at a time. Reward yourself throughout your quit. Celebrate individual milestones, including being 24 hours tobacco-free, one week tobacco-free, and one month tobacco-free. Quitting tobacco is hard, be proud of your accomplishments.
- Office on Smoking and Health
- National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention