If you want to quit smoking, two key steps are to make a plan and to choose a Quit Day. In honor of the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout happening tomorrow, choose your Quit Day now!
This post is provided by the American Cancer Society® (www.cancer.org).
The decision to quit smoking is one that only you can make. Others may want you to quit, but the real commitment must come from you.
Think about why you want to quit.
Write down your reasons so you can look at them every time you want to smoke.
If you’re ready to quit, setting a date and deciding on a plan will help move you to the next step.
What’s important about picking a Quit Day? Once you’ve decided to quit, you’re ready to pick a quit date. This is a key step. Pick a day within the next month as your Quit Day. Picking a date too far away gives you time to change your mind. Still, you need to give yourself enough time to prepare. You might choose a date with a special meaning, like a birthday or anniversary, or the date of the Great American Smokeout (the third Thursday in November each year). Or you might want to just pick a random date. Circle the date on your calendar. Make a strong, personal commitment to quit on that day.
How do you plan to quit? There are many ways to quit, and some work better than others. Nicotine replacement therapy, prescription drugs, and other methods are available. Learn more about ways to quit so you can find the method that best suits you. It’s also a good idea to talk to your doctor or dentist and get their advice and support.
Support is another key part of your plan. Stop-smoking programs, telephone quit lines, Nicotine Anonymous meetings, self-help materials such as books and pamphlets, and smoking counselors can be a great help. Also tell your family, friends, and coworkers that you’re quitting. They can give you help and encouragement, which increases your chances of quitting for good. For the best chance at success, your plan should include at least two of these options.
Here are some steps to help you get ready for your Quit Day:
Successful quitting is a matter of planning and commitment, not luck. Decide now on your own plan.
Over time, smoking becomes a strong habit. Daily events—like waking up in the morning, finishing a meal, drinking coffee, or taking a break at work—often trigger your urge to smoke. Breaking the link between the trigger and smoking will help you stop.
On your Quit Day go down this list:
Be prepared to feel the urge to smoke. It will pass whether you smoke or not. Use the 4 D’s to help fight the urge:
Often this simple trick will allow you to move beyond the strong urge to smoke.
Explore www.cancer.org or call our National Cancer Information Center toll-free number, 1-800-227-2345.
Are you trying to quit smoking? Learn more about the Benefits of Quitting Smoking Over Time here.
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This health information or program is for educational purposes only and not intended to treat, diagnose, or act as a substitute for medical advice from your provider. Consult your healthcare provider and always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.
“Deciding to Quit Smoking and Making a Plan,” American Cancer Society. April 19, 2016.