You can quit using tobacco. Research has shown that following these steps gives you the best chance of quitting and staying tobacco-free.
Prepare to Quit
- Think about why you want to quit.
- Pick a date to quit and stick to it. Make your words mean something when you say, “I quit.”
- Get rid of ALL tobacco products including cigarettes, chew tins or pouches, and ashtrays. Remove them from your house as well as your car and workplace – out of sight, out of mind. Or, at least if these items are out of reach, you’re less likely to relapse.
- Review the reason for quitting: You’ll feel healthier, you’ll be healthier, feeling of pride from you and from others, those around you won’t be at risk from your smoke and you’ll have more money in the bank.
- Ask people not to smoke or dip around you, and avoid situations where you know tobacco will be present.
- If you’ve tried to quit before, think about what did not work from your last attempt. Determine how you can avoid the same problems this time.
- Do not smoke — not even one puff!
- Do not chew — not even one dip!
Build a Support System
- Ask for help. Having some help is a proven aid for making your quit attempt successful. You don’t have to do it alone. The people who care about you and want to see you succeed will be willing and happy to be there for you when times get tough.
- Notify your friends, family and co-workers about your quit attempt and ask them not to smoke or dip around you.
- Enroll in the web-based tobacco cessation program on this site.
- Visit your health care provider for additional tips, advice, and support.
- Seek counseling. The free help that can give you up to a 70% chance of quitting successfully is available through the toll-free Texas Quitline at 1-877-YES QUIT.
- Find a program that works for you. Check local hospitals and health centers to see what is available near you.
Learn New Skills and Habits
- Distract yourself from tobacco cravings by staying busy.
- Change your daily schedule for a while. Take a different route to work or try walking instead of driving, if you can. Try a new, smoke-free restaurant for lunch or make plans to meet someone for a break.
- Seek out stress-reducing activities. Drink some hot tea, make a trip to the gym, take a bubble bath or read a good book.
- Make plans to do something you enjoy every day. This will keep your spirits up and your mind off tobacco.
- Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and other liquids.
Take Advantage of Medications and Use Them Correctly
Like anything in life, it takes practice to quit smoking. But you can do it — just stay positive. If you fall down, try again. Learn from each attempt and change your course of action until smoking is a thing of the past. Some factors that increase the odds of a relapse include:
- Alcohol – Drinking can lower your chances of successfully quitting.
- Other smokers – Being around smoke can make quitting very difficult. Try to avoid places that will tempt you to smoke.
- Weight gain – Some smokers gain weight (usually less than 10 pounds) during their quit attempts. Do not let this discourage you. Eat healthy meals and exercise regularly. Minor weight gain is less harmful than smoking, and exercise will become easier after you quit using tobacco.
- Bad mood or depression – If you use tobacco to ward off a bad mood or depression, try a healthier, enjoyable activity. You may also consult your doctor about medications to help you quit and decrease depression.
last updated August 21, 2023