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Smoking Cessation Health Center

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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 or the nicotine patch, or maybe the nicotine patch along 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.
  • Social networking. Many smartphone or tablet quit-smoking apps allow you to share your progress with your friends and family. This is a way you can get the extra support and encouragement you need when you're having a hard time or when you want to celebrate a new smoke-free milestone.
  • Talk to a friend who used to smoke, and ask him or her to be a support person you can call when the going gets rough.
  • Try a quit smoking program on the Internet. These often have chat rooms. People who use telephone, group, one-on-one, or Internet 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.
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