Smoking brings thousands of toxins into the body. It is no surprise that it increases the risk of many cancers, heart disease, and stroke. So quitting is one of the best things you can do for your health. You may have also found that smoking makes your clothes, hair, home, or car smell. It may interrupt your workdays or social outings for a cigarette break. Cigarette smoke is also a hazard for those around you. Secondhand smoke increases the risk of illnesses around you, even if they don't smoke.
Whatever the reason, you are thinking about quitting smoking. Whether this is your first attempt or not, the following steps can help you get started on the right foot.
Once you’ve decided to quit smoking, set your target quit date. Make it a few weeks away. In the time leading up to your quit day, try some of these ideas to help you quit successfully.
Some may feel comfortable quitting on their own. Talk to your doctor if you are looking for tools that can help. Options include nicotine gum, patches, or inhaler, or medicine. Some may need a prescription but many are available over-the-counter. Here are some other steps that may help:
Cut Down the Number of Cigarettes You Smoke
Remember: Cutting down can help you quit. It is no substitute for quitting. If you are at 7 cigarettes a day, it's time to set your target quit date.
Don't Smoke "Automatically"
Make Smoking Inconvenient
Make Smoking Unpleasant
Just Before Quitting
On the Day You Quit
Telephone and Internet Support
Telephone and web-based programs can offer you the support that you need to quit and to stay smoke-free. You can find many programs online.
Immediately After Quitting
National Cancer Institute
Tobacco Information and Prevention Source (TIPS)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
United States Department of Health and Human Services
Canadian Cancer Society
The Lung Association
Benefits of quitting smoking over time. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/benefits-of-quitting-smoking-over-time. Updated September 9, 2017. Accessed November 17, 2018.
How to quit smoking. Help Guide website. Available at: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/addiction/how-to-quit-smoking.htm. Accessed November 17, 2018.
Quit guide smart phone app. Smokefree website. Available at: http://smokefree.gov/apps-quitguide. Accessed November 17, 2018.
Treatment for tobacco use. DynaMed website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T905141/Treatment-for-tobacco-use. Updated September 4, 2018. Accessed November 17, 2018.
3/25/2008 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php : Parkes G, Greenhalgh T, Griffin M, Dent R. Effect on smoking quit rate of telling patients their lung age: the Step2quit randomised controlled trial.BMJ.2008;336:598-600.
7/6/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php : Myung SK, McDonnell DD, Kazinets G, Seo HG, Moskowitz JM. Effects of Web- and computer-based smoking cessation programs: meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.Arch Intern Med.2009;169:929-937.
7/14/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/ : Leonardi-Bee J, Jere ML, Britton J. Exposure to parental and sibling smoking and the risk of smoking uptake in childhood and adolescence: a systematic review and meta-analysis.Thorax.2011 Feb 15. [Epub ahead of print]