Site Map

Smoking - tips on how to quit

Cigarettes - tips on how to quit; Smoking cessation - tips on how to quit; Smokeless tobacco - tips on how to quit

Images

Quitting smoking
Smoking hazards

I Would Like to Learn About:

Information

There are many ways to quit smoking. There are also resources to help you. Family members, friends, and co-workers may be supportive. But to be successful, you must really want to quit.

Most people who have quit smoking were unsuccessful at least once in the past. Try not to view past attempts to quit as failures. See them as learning experiences.

It is hard to stop smoking or using smokeless tobacco, but anyone can do it.

Know what symptoms to expect when you stop smoking. These are called withdrawal symptoms. Common symptoms include:

How bad your symptoms are depends on how long you smoked. The number of cigarettes you smoked each day also plays a role.

FEEL READY TO QUIT?

First, set a quit date. That is the day you will quit completely. Before your quit date, you may begin reducing your cigarette use. Remember, there is no safe level of cigarette smoking.

List the reasons why you want to quit. Include both short- and long-term benefits.

Identify the times you are most likely to smoke. For example, do you tend to smoke when feeling stressed or down? When out at night with friends? While drinking coffee or alcohol? When bored? While driving? Right after a meal or sex? During a work break? While watching TV or playing cards? When you are with other smokers?

Let your friends, family, and co-workers know of your plan to stop smoking. Tell them your quit date. It can be helpful if they know what you are going through, especially when you are grumpy.

Get rid of all your cigarettes just before the quit date. Clean anything that smells of smoke, such as clothes and furniture.

MAKE A PLAN

Plan what you will do instead of smoking at those times when you are most likely to smoke.

Be as specific as possible. For example, if in the past you smoked when drinking a cup of coffee, drink tea instead. Tea may not trigger the desire for a cigarette. Or, when you feel stressed, take a walk instead of smoking a cigarette.

Get rid of cigarettes in the car. Put pretzels there instead.

Find activities that focus your hands and mind, but make sure they are not taxing or fattening. Computer games, solitaire, knitting, sewing, and crossword puzzles may help.

If you normally smoke after eating, find other ways to end a meal. Eat a piece of fruit. Get up and make a phone call. Take a walk (a good distraction that also burns calories).

CHANGE YOUR LIFESTYLE

Make other changes in your lifestyle. Change your daily schedule and habits. Eat at different times, or eat several small meals instead of three large ones. Sit in a different chair or even a different room.

Satisfy your oral habits in other ways. Eat celery or another low-calorie snack. Chew sugarless gum. Suck on a cinnamon stick. Pretend-smoke with a straw.

Get more exercise. Take walks or ride a bike. Exercise helps relieve the urge to smoke.

SET SOME GOALS

Set short-term quitting goals and reward yourself when you meet them. Every day, put the money you normally spend on cigarettes in a jar. Later, spend that money on something you like.

Try not to think about all the days ahead you will need to avoid smoking. Take it one day at a time.

Just one puff or one cigarette will make your desire for cigarettes even stronger. However, it is normal to make mistakes. So even if you have one cigarette, you do not need to take the next one.

OTHER TIPS

Enroll in a stop smoking support program. Hospitals, health departments, community centers, and work sites often offer programs. Learn about self-hypnosis or other techniques.

Ask your health care provider about medicines that can help you quit nicotine and tobacco and keep you from starting again. These include nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, and sprays.

The American Cancer Society's web site, The Great American Smokeout (www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/greatmericansmokeout) is a good resource.

The website Smokefree.gov also provides information and resources for smokers. Calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) will direct you to a free telephone counseling program in your state.

Above all, do not get discouraged if you are not able to quit smoking the first time. Nicotine addiction is a hard habit to break. Try something different next time. Develop new strategies, and try again. For many people, it takes several attempts to finally kick the habit.

Related Information

Carotid artery surgery
Angioplasty and stent placement -- peripheral arteries
Abdominal aortic aneurysm repair - open
Angina - what to ask your doctor
Heart attack - what to ask your doctor
Angioplasty and stent placement - peripheral arteries - discharge
Angioplasty and stent placement - carotid artery - discharge
Aortic aneurysm repair - endovascular - discharge
Carotid artery surgery - discharge
Abdominal aortic aneurysm repair - open - discharge
Brain aneurysm repair - discharge
Stroke - discharge
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - adults - discharge
Foot amputation - discharge
Leg amputation - discharge
Pneumonia - adults - discharge
Deep vein thrombosis - discharge
Diabetes - preventing heart attack and stroke
Angina - discharge
Heart attack - discharge
Angioplasty and stent - heart - discharge
Controlling your high blood pressure
Heart bypass surgery - discharge
Heart bypass surgery - minimally invasive - discharge
Heart disease - risk factors
Heart failure - discharge
Peripheral artery bypass - leg - discharge
Esophagectomy - discharge
Lung surgery - discharge
Heart valve surgery - discharge

References

Benowitz NL, Brunetta PG. Smoking hazards and cessation. In: Broaddus VC, Mason RJ, Ernst JD, et al., eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 46.

Rakel RE, Houston T. Nicotine addiction. In: Rakel RE, Rakel DP, eds. Textbook of Family Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 49.

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Behavioral and pharmacotherapy interventions for tobacco smoking cessation in adults, including pregnant women: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement. Ann Intern Med. 2015 Sep 22. doi: 10.7326/M15-2023. PMID: 26389730 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26389730.

BACK TO TOP

Review Date: 8/29/2015  

Reviewed By: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch).

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2016 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

adam.com