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    Smoking: Choosing a Good Time to Quit

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    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.

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    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.
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    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.
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