Five-Step Prep: Quit-Smoking Countdown You've made the decision to quit smoking - excellent move! Now, increase your odds of success by setting a quit date and planning ways to handle cravings, old habits, and friends who still smoke. You’ve just made one of the best and biggest decisions ever: You are going to stop smoking. To improve the odds that you’ll reach that goal, you’ll want to create a multi-pronged approach. To properly prepare to quit smoking, take these FIVE STEPS ahead of time. Quit Smoking Step 1: Setting a Date The first recommendation: Set a quit date. Choose a date that works with your individual smoking habits. If your workplace doesn't allow smoking, for example, it might be easier for you to quit on a work day. If you do a lot of smoking while you work, it might be easier to quit on a weekend. Quit Smoking Step 2: Select a Smoking Cessation Program Consider getting support from a telephone quit line or a smoking cessation program. You can check out the Quitline offered by the American Cancer Society, or local agencies in your community. Find out about your options in advance of your planned quit date, and sign up for a program if you feel it would be helpful. Quit Smoking Step 3: Prepare to Counter Cravings with Distractions Make plans ahead of time for dealing with the urge to smoke. You can expect to have cravings for a cigarette when you quit smoking: Have a plan of action ready for when that urge hits. Think about when you'll be the most likely to crave a cigarette — maybe when you have your first coffee of the day or at that midmorning break at work — and decide in advance how you'll distract yourself, emphasizes Jorenby. The best solutions will address the root cause of the urge, which is often: Boredom Anxiety Restlessness Many people find it helpful to have sugarless gum, mints, or hard candy on hand. If you think you'd like to use medication to help with withdrawal symptoms, make an appointment with your health care provider to talk about the choices and the pros and cons of each. There are also various types of nicotine replacement therapy, including nicotine gum, nicotine patches, nicotine inhaler, and nicotine sprays. If you decide to use one of these products, make sure you have enough of a starting supply. Quit Smoking Step 4: Enlist Non-smoking Family and Friends Don’t forget to ask your family and friends for their support. If they're smokers, ask them not to smoke when you're around. If that's not possible, you might want to make plans on your own or with non-smokers for the first few days without cigarettes.
Quit Smoking Step 5: Follow These Quit Date Guidelines When your quit date arrives, stay away from cigarettes completely — not even a few puffs on a cigarette. Clear out all the cigarettes, matches, and ashtrays — any paraphenalia. Make a clean break by: Trying exercise instead Spending time in places that don't allow smoking Spending your time with people who don't smoke Making any necessary changes in your routine to avoid situations that you associate with smoking. Lots of people have successfully quit smoking using methods like these — you can, too!