Smoking and How to Quit Smoking

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

View How Smoking Affects Your Looks and Life Slideshow Pictures

Quick GuideQuit-Smoking Pictures Slideshow: 13 Tips to End Your Addiction

Quit-Smoking Pictures Slideshow: 13 Tips to End Your Addiction

Staying quit

  • The expected consequences of quitting are irritability, difficulty concentrating, increased appetite, and of course, urges to smoke. So, if you feel more short-tempered or distracted or sleepier than usual, don't worry because these feelings will pass.
  • Try to exercise. For example, go for a walk, ride a bike, if you have access to a pool swim, take a yoga or Pilates class.
  • Consider the positive things about quitting. For example, think about how much you like yourself as a non-smoker, the health benefits for you and your family, and the example you set for others around you. A positive attitude will help you through the tough times.
  • When you feel tense, try to keep busy and think about ways to ease the tenseness. Tell yourself that smoking won't make it any better, and go do something else.
  • Eat regular meals because feeling hungry is sometimes mistaken for the desire to smoke.
  • Start putting the money you save by not buying cigarettes in a "money jar."
  • Let others know that you have quit smoking. You will find that most people will support you. Many of your smoking friends may want to know how you quit. It's good to talk to others about your quitting. In fact, people who stay off smoking for at least one year often have had very strong support from a companion or co-worker.
  • If you slip-up and smoke, don't be discouraged or give up and return to your smoking habit. Many former smokers have tried to quit several times before they finally succeed.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/30/2015
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