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Quitting Smoking - Planning Your Strategy to Quit


2. Get support

You will have a better chance of quitting successfully if you have help and support from your family, friends, and coworkers. Others sources of support include:

  • Your doctor. He or she can help you put together a plan of medicines and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) that works for you. This could be Chantix and the nicotine patch, or maybe the nicotine patch with gum for those times you need something more.
  • Phone support (1-800-QUIT NOW). Telephone counselors can help you with practical ideas. Often they are people who have quit smoking themselves.

You can also find online support along with quit-smoking programs that you can attend. People who use telephone, group, or one-on-one counseling are much more likely to stop smoking than people who try to quit on their own.

actionset.gif Quitting Smoking: Getting Support

If a partner or friend is quitting, you can help.

actionset.gif Quitting Smoking: Helping Someone Quit

3. Learn new skills and behaviors

Since you won't be smoking, decide what you are going to do instead. Make a plan to:

  • Identify and think about ways you can avoid those things that make you reach for a cigarette (smoking triggers), at least at first. Try to change your smoking habits and rituals. Think about situations in which you will be at greatest risk for smoking. Make a plan for how you will deal with each situation.
  • Change your daily routine. Take a different route to work, or eat a meal in a different place. Every day, do something that you enjoy.
  • Cut down on stress. Calm yourself or release tension by reading a book, taking a hot bath, or digging in your garden. See the topic Stress Management for ways to reduce stress in your life.
  • Spend time with nonsmokers and people who have stopped smoking.
  • Start seeing yourself as a person who is making healthy choices.

4. Get and use medicine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several medicines to help people quit smoking. You will double your chances of quitting even if medicine is the only treatment you use to quit. Your odds get even better when you combine medicine and other quit strategies, such as counseling.1

You won't have to take medicines forever—just for as long as it takes to help you quit. Your employer or health plan may help pay the cost of a quit-smoking program or provide help to pay for medicines. And remember that no matter how much it costs to buy medicines to help you stop smoking, it's still less than the cost of smoking.

The first-choice medicines are:2

  • Nicotine replacement therapy. This includes nicotine gum, patches camera.gif, lozenges, and inhalers. You can buy gum, patches, and lozenges without a prescription.
  • Bupropion SR (Zyban). This is a non-nicotine prescription medicine that you can use by itself or along with nicotine replacement products.
  • Varenicline (Chantix). This prescription medicine helps withdrawal symptoms and reduces the pleasure you feel from smoking.
dplink.gif Quitting Smoking: Should I Use Medicine?

Remember, taking medicines and using telephone or in-person counseling or a quit-smoking program at the same time greatly increases your chances of success.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 12, 2012
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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