Quitting Smoking - Thinking About Quitting?
When you're craving
tobacco, it's hard to focus on quitting. Preparing yourself before you quit can
help. Before you quit, get ready for a life without nicotine.
Think about your reasons for quitting
motivate you to quit smoking? Think about it. It's important to have your own
reasons for quitting.
Use this self-test to help you discover what
motivate you to quit smoking(What is a PDF document?).
healthy is a common reason to want to quit smoking. Or maybe you want to feel
more in control of your life, instead of feeling controlled by tobacco.
Teens may have other reasons to quit smoking.
Talk to your family and friends about quitting.
Their support might help you decide to quit.
Quitting Smoking: Getting Support
Know the risks of smoking
What worries you about
smoking? Make a list. Talk about it with your doctor. You may worry about:
Look forward to the rewards
What do you gain by
quitting? You can:
- Feel better and be able to do more.
- Have a
younger-looking and healthier body.
- Set a
good example for others (especially children).
- If you smoke, your child is more likely to
- If your teen smokes, he or she may be more likely to quit
smoking if you quit.
- If your child never smokes during the teen years, he or
she is less likely to start smoking in the future.
- Save money by getting rid of the
cost of smoking. To find out how much you spend on
cigarettes, see the
Interactive Tool: How Much Is Smoking Costing You?
- Be in control of your habits.
Prepare for roadblocks
What could make you start
smoking after you stop?
Triggers could be events, places, or even people.
Alcohol, stress, and being around other smokers are major triggers for many people. You may always have a
smoke after lunch or during happy hour on Fridays. Does your best friend smoke?
You can't always avoid these challenges. But you can plan for how to deal with
What you need to know
Symptoms include feeling grouchy or depressed and having trouble sleeping or
Here are some things that can
- Take medicine to help control the symptoms. Using
medicine can double your chances of quitting.1
- Get some exercise.
- Start a new activity, take a class, or read a book on a subject that interests you.
- Get counseling
and phone support.
- Try to avoid smoking triggers.
Quick Tips: What to Do When You Crave Nicotine
Quitting Smoking: Coping With Cravings and Withdrawal
Failure in the past
If you weren't able to quit in
the past, don't lose hope. Studies show that each time you try to quit, you
will be stronger and will have learned more about what helps and what makes it
Most people try to quit many times before they can quit for good.
You may gain some weight when
you stop smoking. Don't try to avoid this by going on a strict diet at the same
time. This will make it even harder to stop smoking.
You can take
steps to lower your chance of gaining weight:
- By being more active. Exercise will also help you feel better.
- By using stop-smoking
medicines. They can help you get through the worst of your cravings and may
help you avoid putting on too much weight.
Quitting Smoking: Dealing With Weight Gain
Depression or nervousness
Medicines and counseling can
help treat nervousness or depression. Talk to your doctor.
Depression: Should I Take an Antidepressant?
Depression: Using Positive Thinking
Lack of support
Support can improve your
chances of quitting. Look for people who have stopped smoking, or seek out
those family and friends who support your goal to quit. Online and phone
support can also help:
- National tobacco quitline: 1-800-QUIT
- Stop-smoking programs, such as the American
Lung Association's Freedom from Smoking program (www.lungusa.org) or QuitNet
- Check with your local hospital or health department for programs to quit smoking.
Quitting Smoking: Getting Support
Living with or being around
someone who smokes
It would be easier for you to
quit if those around you didn't smoke. Discuss quitting together. If this isn't an option, talk to the
person(s) about not smoking around you. When you can, avoid places where others are smoking.
If you enjoy smoking when you drink alcohol, you may need to give up alcohol when you quit smoking, at least for a while.
Stress can lead to smoking, but smoking doesn't really make stress go away.
To control stress, learn what
causes your stress and how to change the way you react. For suggestions, see the topic
smoking habits or not being able to avoid smoking
Assess your tobacco use
(What is a PDF document?)
to discover your smoking triggers. For some people,
morning coffee and going out with friends are common
Change the way you have coffee: the place, the coffee mug, everything that you
did when you were smoking.
Going out with friends. If drinking makes you want to smoke, see about going to a movie rather than going out for
Teen issues, such as fitting in
with the crowd and dealing with stress
Fresher-smelling clothes and
breath are just a few
reasons for teens to quit smoking. They may actually
improve their chances of fitting in. Also, feeling good physically may help
teens deal with stress in healthier ways than by smoking. If you are worried
about a teen who smokes, see:
Substance Abuse: Dealing With Teen Substance Abuse.
Quitting smoking when you have other health problems