Quit Smoking (cont.)

Set a Quit Date

Pick a date within the next two weeks to quit. That gives you enough time to get ready. But it's not so long that you will lose your drive to quit.

Think about choosing a special day:

  • Your birthday or wedding anniversary
  • New Year's Day
  • Independence Day (July 4)
  • World No Tobacco Day (May 31)
  • The Great American Smokeout (the third Thursday of each November)

If you smoke at work, quit on the weekend or during a day off. That way you'll already be cigarette-free when you return.

Tell Others your Plan to Quit

Quitting smoking is easier with the support of others. Tell your family, friends, and co-workers that you plan to quit. Tell them how they can help you.

Some people like to have friends ask how things are going. Others find it nosy. Tell the people you care about exactly how they can help. Here are some ideas:

  • Ask everyone to understand your change in mood. Remind them that this won't last long. (The worst will be over within two weeks.) Tell them this: "The longer I go without cigarettes, the sooner I'll be my old self."
  • Does someone close to you smoke? Ask them to quit with you, or at least not to smoke around you.
  • Do you take any medicines? Tell your doctor and pharmacist you are quitting. Nicotine changes how some drugs work. You may need to change your prescriptions after you quit.
  • Get support from other people. You can try talking with others one-on-one or in a group. You can also get support on the phone. You can even try an Internet chat room. This kind of support helps smokers quit. The more support you get, the better. But even a little can help.
Anticipate and Plan for the Challenges You'll Face While Quitting

Expecting challenges is an important part of getting ready to quit.

Most people who go back to smoking do it within three months. Your first three months may be hard. You may be more tempted when you are stressed or feeling down. It's hard to be ready for these times before they happen. But it helps to know when you need a cigarette most.

Look over your Craving Journal. See when you may be tempted to smoke. Plan for how to deal with the urge before it hits.

You should also expect feelings of withdrawal. Withdrawal is the discomfort of giving up nicotine. It is your body's way of telling you it's learning to be smoke-free. These feelings will go away in time.

Remove Cigarettes and Other Tobacco From Your Home, Car, and Work