Leave Tobacco Behind and See Immediate Benefits
When you quit smoking or using other tobacco products, you get both immediate and long-term health benefits—and you greatly lower your risk of getting cancer or chronic respiratory illness.
Tobacco is addictive, so quitting for good takes both commitment and preparation. If you’re ready to quit, we’ve got tips and resources to help you succeed.
Have a Quitting Strategy
Once you’ve decided to quit, make a plan for how you’re going to go about it. Write down your plan for any or all of the below, and put it where you’ll see it regularly.
- Your reason for quitting. Is it for a particular person? For your health? To look and feel younger? Maybe it’s all of the above.
- See your doctor. Your doctor may recommend classes, apps, counseling, medication, or other methods that make quitting easier.
- Consider nicotine replacement. If nicotine withdrawal symptoms have troubled you in the past, consider a replacement, like nicotine gum or a nicotine patch, to help lessen the physical impact.
- Build your support system. If you’re trying to quit, you’ll need friends and family on your side. Come up with a list of people—preferably those who are tobacco-free themselves—who can help you out.
- Know your triggers. What makes you want to smoke? Is it alcohol? Coffee? Times of day? Certain songs? Know the things that make you want to smoke and then plan to avoid them.
- Make plans to stay active. If you don’t already have a fitness routine in place, now’s a good time to start one. Exercise reduces urges, eases withdrawal symptoms, and helps offset the weight gain you may experience as your appetite returns to normal.
- Learn how to eat healthy. Don’t try to diet while you’re quitting; take things one step at a time. Instead, plan to eat well and eat healthy. Try new recipes and new foods. It’s the perfect time, as your senses of taste and smell become sharper after you quit.
- Plan a reward. Quitting is an accomplishment well worth rewarding, and since you’re spending a lot less on tobacco, you’ll have a little extra to splurge with. Decide what that will be and use the reminder to get over the rough spots.
- Don’t give up. Decide ahead of time that you’re going to keep at it. If you slip, get right back at it. You can do it.
Smoking Cessation Resources
For more ideas, advice, and support, check out these local and online resources.
- Commit to Quit Course. Hancock Health offers a four-week smoking cessation course, with a new course beginning every few months.
- Stay Away From Tobacco. The American Cancer Society offers online resources for those trying to quit, and for parents and communities hoping to keep new smokers from starting.
- SmokeFree.gov. Quitting is a journey, and this site offers tools, tips, and social media connections to help along the way and strengthen your determination.