Learning how to quit smoking can save your
life. It can add years to it, reduce your risk of heart attack,
stroke and cancer, and provide a healthier environment for those
Since 1965, over 30
million people have learned how to quit smoking for good. You
How to Quit Smoking:
The 5 Steps
Studies have shown that these five
steps will help you quit smoking and quit for good. You have the best
chances of quitting smoking if you use them together.
Learn new skills and behaviors.
Get medication and use it correctly.
Be prepared for relapse or difficult
- Set a quit date.
- Change your environment.
- Get rid of ALL cigarettes
and ashtrays in your home, car, and place of work.
- Don't let people smoke in your
- Review your past attempts to quit.
Think about what worked and what did not.
- Once you quit, don't smoke—NOT
EVEN A PUFF!
Get Support and Encouragement
Studies have shown that you have a better chance of being successful
if you have help. You can get support in many ways:
- Tell your family, friends, and
co-workers that you are going to quit and want their support. Ask
them not to smoke around you or leave cigarettes out.
- Talk to your health care provider
(for example, doctor, dentist, nurse, pharmacist, psychologist, or
- Get individual, group, or telephone
counseling. The more counseling you have, the better your chances
are of quitting. Programs are given at local hospitals and health
centers. Call your local health department for information about
programs in your area.
Learn New Skills and
- Try to distract yourself from
urges to smoke. Talk to someone, go for a walk, or get busy with
- When you first try to quit,
change your routine. Use a different route to work. Drink tea
instead of coffee. Eat breakfast in a different place.
- Do something to reduce your
stress. Take a hot bath, exercise, or read a book.
- Plan something enjoyable to do
- Drink a lot of water and other
Medications can help you stop smoking
and lessen the urge to smoke.
- The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) has approved five medications to help you quit
1.Bupropion SR—Available by prescription.
2.Nicotine gum—Available over-the-counter.
3.Nicotine inhaler—Available by prescription.
4.Nicotine nasal spray—Available by prescription.
5.Nicotine patch—Available by prescription and
- Ask your health care provider for
advice and carefully read the information on the package.
- All of these medications will more
or less double your chances of quitting and quitting for good.
- Everyone who is trying to quit may
benefit from using a medication. If you are pregnant or trying to
become pregnant, nursing, under age 18, smoking fewer than 10
cigarettes per day, or have a medical condition, talk to your doctor
or other health care provider before taking medications.
for Relapse or Difficult Situations
Most relapses occur within the first 3 months after quitting. Don't be
discouraged if you start smoking again. Remember, most people try
several times before they finally quit. Here are some difficult
situations to watch for:
- Alcohol. Avoid drinking
alcohol. Drinking lowers your chances of success.
- Other Smokers. Being around
smoking can make you want to smoke.
- Weight Gain. Many smokers
will gain weight when they quit, usually less than 10 pounds. Eat a
healthy diet and stay active. Don't let weight gain distract you
from your main goal—quitting smoking. Some quit-smoking medications
may help delay weight gain.
- Bad Mood or Depression. There
are a lot of ways to improve your mood other than smoking.
If you are having problems with any of
these situations, talk to your doctor or other health care provider.
Special Situations or
Studies suggest that everyone can quit
smoking. Your situation or condition can give you a special reason to
- Pregnant women/new mothers.
By quitting, you protect your baby's health and your own.
- Hospitalized patients. By
quitting, you reduce health problems and help healing.
- Heart attack patients. By
quitting, you reduce your risk of a second heart attack.
- Lung, head, and neck cancer
patients. By quitting, you reduce your chance of a second
- Parents of children and
adolescents. By quitting, you protect your children and
adolescents from illnesses caused by second-hand smoke.
Click here for more
tips on how to quit smoking.