Skip to content

    Smoking: Choosing a Good Time to Quit

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Topic Overview

    Some unsuccessful attempts to quit smoking result from picking a bad time. If your life is hectic, you may feel there will never be a good time to quit. In that case, pick a time to quit, and do what you can to make your life less stressful or busy than it usually is. Be aware that if you wait for a "perfect" time to quit, you may end up putting off the decision for years.

    If you are thinking of quitting today, while you are motivated, that may be best.

    Recommended Related to Smoking Cessation

    Overview

    Note: Separate PDQ summaries on Oral Cancer Screening; Lip and Oral Cavity Cancer Treatment; and Cigarette Smoking: Health Risks and How to Quit are also available. Who is at Risk? People who use tobacco in any of the commonly available forms (cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and smokeless tobacco) or have high alcohol intake are at elevated risk of oral cancer; and they are at particularly high risk if they use both tobacco and alcohol. People who chew betel quid (whether mixed with tobacco or...

    Read the Overview article > >

    Anytime that you can focus your energy and attention on your goal of quitting smoking is a good time to quit. Also, certain days may be good choices for your first smoke-free day. Consider quitting:

    • On New Year's Day.
    • On the American Cancer Society's "Great American Smoke-Out" on the Thursday before Thanksgiving. This event is widely publicized, so you will probably see information and support in the media.
    • On your birthday.
    • On a special day that has meaning to a friend or family member who wants you to quit.
    • When you are ill or having a troublesome smoking-related symptom.
    • On the first day of a vacation.
    • When a friend or relative is quitting.

    Bad times to quit include:

    • High-stress times.
    • Times when you feel low or depressed.
    • Periods in which you have little contact with friends or family. But if those friends or family members smoke or if you are usually around people who smoke, a good time to quit might be a period of time when you are away from them.
    • Just before a holiday. (Holidays require a lot of energy and may provide more temptations than other times of the year).
    • Right after a serious loss or difficult life change (the death of someone close, a stressful move). But if the life change is seen as progress toward a better future, it might be a good time to quit. For example, immediately following a divorce may be a bad time or a very good time to quit, depending on your attitude toward this life change.
    1

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 09, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Smoking: Choosing a Good Time to Quit Topics

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    diabetes supply kit
    Pack and prepare.
    Balding man in mirror
    Treatments & solutions.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    sticky notes on face
    10 tips to clear your brain fog.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    woman biting a big ice cube
    Habits that wreck your teeth.
    apple slices with peanut butter
    What goes best with workouts?
    Pink badge on woman chest to support breat cancer
    Myths and facts.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.