You’ve decided to quit smoking. Congratulations! Your first day without cigarettes can be tough. Follow these five steps to increase your chances for a successful quit day.
1. Make a Quit Plan
Having a plan can make your quit day easier. A quit plan helps you stay focused and motivated to quit. You can build your own quit plan or find a program that works for you. Explore different quit methods and think about what’s right for you. No single approach to quitting works for everyone. Try one of these for extra help:
If you haven’t found the right plan yet, set a new date that makes sense for you. It’s OK if you need a few more days to get ready to quit.
2. Stay Busy
Being busy will help you keep your mind off smoking and distract you from cravings. Think about trying some of these activities:
- Exercise or go for a walk.
- Chew gum or hard candy.
- Keep your hands busy with a pen or toothpick.
- Play a game in the QuitGuide app
- Drink lots of water.
- Relax with deep breathing.
- Go to a movie or a live performance.
- Spend time with non-smoking friends and family.
- Eat out at your favorite smoke-free restaurant.
Take quitting one day at a time. What you learn today can help you tomorrow.
3. Avoid Smoking Triggers
Triggers are the people, places, things, and events that make you want to smoke. On quit day, try to avoid all your triggers. Here are some tips to help you outsmart some common smoking triggers:
- Throw away your cigarettes, lighters, and ash trays if you haven’t already.
- Avoid caffeine, which can make you feel jittery. Drink water instead.
- Spend time with non-smokers.
- Go to places where smoking isn’t allowed.
- Get plenty of rest and eat healthy. Being tired can be a trigger.
- Change your routine to avoid the things you connect with smoking.
4. Stay Positive
Quitting is hard. It happens one minute, one hour, one day at a time. Try not to think of quitting as forever. Pay attention to today and the time will add up. Your quit day might not be perfect, but all that matters is that you don’t smoke—not even one puff.
Reward yourself for being smoke-free for 24 hours. You deserve it!
5. Ask for Help
You don’t need to rely on willpower alone to be smoke-free. Tell your family and friends when your quit day is. Ask them for support on quit day and in the first few days and weeks after. Let them know exactly what they can do to help. Don’t assume they’ll know.
Learn more about the effect of nicotine on your body and get more tips and tools for quitting at Smokefree.gov*
*Provides free, accurate, evidence-based information and professional assistance to help support the immediate and long-term needs of people trying to quit smoking.
For one-on-one coaching or to enroll in our QCARE Kick the Nic!* stopping tobacco use program, call 800.235.7111 or 501.228.7111 and ask to speak to a Care Manager.
*Health plans vary. Check with your employer or plan administrator to see if QCARE is included.