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Good Reasons for Quitting

Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you will ever do.

  • You will live longer and live better.
  • Quitting will lower your chances of having a heart attack, stroke or cancer.
  • If you are pregnant, quitting smoking will improve your chances of having a healthy baby.
  • The people you live with, especially your children, will be healthier.
  • You will have extra money to spend on things other than cigarettes.

Five Keys for Quitting

Studies have shown that these five steps will help you quit and quit for good. You have the best chances of quitting if you use them together.

1. Get ready.
2. Get support.
3. Learn new skills and behaviors.
4. Get medication and use it correctly.
5. Be prepared for relapse or difficult situations.

1. Get Ready

  • Set a quit date.
  • Change your environment.
    1.Get rid of ALL cigarettes and ashtrays in your home, car, and place of work.
    2.Don't let people smoke in your home.
  • Review your past attempts to quit. Think about what worked and what did not.
  • Once you quit, don't smoke—NOT EVEN A PUFF!

2. 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 healthcare provider (for example, doctor, dentist, nurse, pharmacist, psychologist, or smoking counselor).
  • 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.

3. Learn New Skills and Behaviors

  • Try to distract yourself from urges to smoke. Talk to someone, go for a walk, or get busy with a task.
  • 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 every day.
  • Drink a lot of water and other fluids.

4. Get Medication and Use It Correctly

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 smoking:
    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 over-the-counter.
  • 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 healthcare provider before taking medications.

5. Be Prepared 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.

 

This content is provided by the US Department of Health and Human Services. All material in this document is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission.

US Department of Health and Human Services

Public Health Service
Agency for Health Care Policy and Research
2101 East Jefferson Street, Suite 501
Rockville, MD 20852

AHCPR Publication No. 96-0695
April 1996

For more information or to discuss health and wellbeing concerns please contact Partners Employee Assistance Program at 1-866-724-4EAP.

In case of emergency, please call 911 or your local hospital emergency service.


This content was last modified on: 05/08/2017

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