Quitting is tough, but being prepared boosts your chances of success. Build a quit plan to get ready and find out what to expect along the way. Create your own quit plan by following these steps:
1. Set your quit date.
Choose a day within the next two weeks. This will give you enough time to prepare.
2. Choose your reasons for quitting.
- To be healthier
- To save money
- To smell better
- For your loved ones
3. Pinpoint your smoking triggers.
Knowing your triggers helps you stay in control.
4. Prepare to fight cravings.
Cravings only last a few minutes – but those minutes can be hard.
Do you need to keep your hands and mouth busy?
Hold a straw in your hand and breathe through it.
Play with a coin or paper clip to keep your hands busy.
Do you smoke to relieve stress or improve your mood?
Practice deep breathing to calm down or do some pushups to blow off steam.
Turn to friends, family and counselors when you need someone to talk to.
Do you have trouble keeping busy and your mind occupied?
Make a list of tasks to do when a craving hits. Things like doing chores, replying to emails, running errands or planning your schedule for the next day.
Do you smoke because it’s pleasurable and relaxing?
Treat yourself to a different pleasure. Listen to your favorite songs, plan a movie night with friends or save up your cigarette money for a special treat.
Do you get irritable and anxious without cigarettes?
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), like patches, gum or lozenges can help. Talk to your doctor to see which is right for you.
Do you smoke for an energy boost?
To keep your energy level stable, get regular exercise and have healthy snacks throughout the day. Get enough sleep at night to keep from feeling slow during the day.
5. Get rid of smoking reminders.
Get rid of any reminders in your home, car and workplace before your quit day.
- Wash your clothes, especially your smoke break jacket.
- Clean your car.
- Get rid of matches, ashtrays and any cigarette butts that may be outside your home.
- Put craving-fighting items–like straws, nicotine gum or a list of chores–in the places where you kept your cigarettes, ashtrays, matches and lighters.
The night before quit day, throw away everything that is related to smoking. Don’t hide a pack in your freezer or stash your ashtrays in the back of a cabinet. Everything must go!
Learn more about the effect of nicotine on your body and get more tips and tools for quitting at Smokefree.gov
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.