Benefits of Quitting
- Your breathing, circulation and physical functioning
- You lower your risk for stroke or other heart problems
- Your lungs begin to heal and your chance of lung disease
- Your sense of taste and smell improves
- You feel better as your body adjusts to being smoke-free
- You save money
- Your hair and clothes smell better
How to Quit
The biggest mistake a smoker can make when she tries to
kick the habit is not preparing to quit.
Quitting smoking is a major change in your life. All changes
are easier when you prepare. Would you have a wedding or
trip without planning? Of course not. And you should not
try to quit smoking without getting ready. Download a copy
of the workbook "If
You Smoke and Are Pregnant.." It can help you make
a plan and stick to it, whether or not you are pregnant.
(If the workbook downloads too slowly, try the plain
Quitting Smoking is one of the most important choices you can make in your life.
test yourself (plain
Are you curious about your level of nicotine dependence?
How dependent on nicotine is someone you care about that smokes?
Take the Fagerstrom Test* to find out.
Tips for Quitting
Make a plan to quit. Tell your family and friends about your desire to stop smoking. Ask them to be supportive and to help you. Pay attention to situations and your routines when you smoked. Prepare yourself to do something different. Try the STAR approach.
- Set a quit date
- Tell others
- Anticipate challenges
- Remove all tobacco products
If you decide to stop smoking gradually:
- cut down on the number of cigarettes you smoke
- inhale the smoke less often
- lengthen the time between cigarettes
Setting Your Quit Date
Once you decide to stop smoking, your first step is to set
a Quit Day.
During the week of your Quit Day:
- Think about why you smoke
- List reasons why you want to quit
- Rate how much you want each cigarette from 1 to 5
- Don't smoke the ones you really don't want
- Buy your cigarettes one pack at a time
- Start to exercise on a regular basis
- Find a non-smoking friend to give you support
- Take slow deep breaths to relax
- Know which places, times, people or feelings make you
want to smoke
- Think about what you will do when you want to smoke
- Break habits and change routines connected with your
- Get rid of all your cigarettes, lighters, and ash trays
- Take it one day at a time
- Believe that you will succeed!
HALT - Avoid these smoking triggers
Make a plan so you don't smoke when you are:
Ways to Cope Without a Cigarette
- Drink plenty of fluids. Have at least 8 glasses of water
and fruit juices a day to help flush the nicotine from
- Eat regular meals. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains
and foods rich in protein are good choices. Limit foods
with sugar or fat.
- Relax. Give yourself a break during the day - especially
when you have a strong urge to smoke.
- Tell yourself that urges don't last. Each urge to smoke
will pass in three to five minutes. Do something else while
you wait it out. Get a drink of water, walk around the
block or talk to a friend.
- Think about what you will buy. Save the money you used
to spend on cigarettes and doctor bills and buy something
- Remind yourself of all the things you hate about smoking.
- Ask friends and family for help. Tell them you are quitting
and let them know how they can help.
- Praise yourself. Think how well you are doing each time
you have an urge and don't smoke.
- Notice healthy changes. After a few days your sense
of taste and smell will improve. Breathing will be easier
in a few weeks.
- Speak up when you're angry or frustrated. Stick up for
your rights or take a walk. Don't let your mood be an excuse
- Take it one day at a time.
Give yourself a pat on the back for trying. You'll feel
proud when you have kicked the habit!
Talk to your doctor or nurse about your desire to quit
smoking before you have a baby. They may have other ways
to help you achieve your goal. Remember, most smokers try
to quit several times before they quit for good. Don't
Many resources are available to help smokers become non-smokers. Talk to friends or family members who have successfully quit smoking. Talk to your doctor, nurse or health care providers. Clinic staff at your county health department can provide counseling and link you to services.
DHHS Customer Service Center
1-800-662-7030 (English/ Spanish)
North Carolina Tobacco Use Quitline - 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669). Provide coaching sessions with a coach; tips and techniques to quit; quit plan, help you stay on track and send you print materials to support your efforts.
Hours: 8 AM - 12 PM (EST)
Now North Carolina - Find support, quit help-lines,
and materials to stop smoking now.
For more health information, search MedlinePlus
The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids
TRU Campaign - Tobacco Reality Unfiltered
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation - Program to help pregnant smokers quit smoking
National Quit Now
*Fagerstrom Test - Developed by Dr. Karl Fagerstrom, one of the world's leading authorities on the effects of smoking, the dependency quiz can help you determine how hard it will be for you to break the habit.
It takes about a minute to complete. Fagerstrom Test.
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Last updated: June 2012