Kicking the Habit: How to Choose a Quit Date
Kicking the Habit: How to Choose a Quit Date

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eHP_PR_Kicking the Habit: How to Choose a Quit Date

Congratulations! You've decided to quit smoking. Now you just need to decide when. Many programs suggest the first step to quitting is choosing a quit date. But how do you make that choice?

If you're ready to make the commitment, here are some things to think about

  1. Choose a quit date within the next few weeks. This will give you time to get yourself ready.
  2. Pick a date that has a special meaning for you. Would you like to link your quit date to a special event? Some people choose a random date, but others pick a birthday, anniversary or some other special day. Maybe you want to choose an event like the Great American Smokeout or Independence Day.
  3. If you smoke at work, think about quitting on a weekend. When you return to your job on Monday, you'll already be enjoying the benefits of being smoke-free for two days.
  4. Stay focused.
    Write your quit date on your calendar where you can see it every day. Don't come up with excuses to wait. Stay committed to your plan.
  5. Get ready to quit.
    Now that you've set a date, start off right by doing the following:
  • Mark the date on your calendar.
  • Tell your friends and family members you are quitting. Ask smokers to stop lighting up when they're with you.
  • Remove cigarettes and lighters from your home, office and car.
  • Work with your doctor to find the smoking-cessation program that works for you. This may involve using nicotine gum, a patch or another option.
  • Go shopping. Stock up on sugar-free hard candy or gum, celery sticks, straws or anything else that can serve as oral substitutes for cigarettes.
  • Talk to friends or relatives who have quit smoking and ask for their advice and support. 
Make sure to take some time to get yourself ready for the challenge ahead. The more prepared you feel, the better your chances of kicking the habit for good.
By Diane Griffith, Contributing Writer
Created on 07/21/2008
Updated on 06/01/2012
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How to quit.
  • National Cancer Institute. Harms of smoking and health benefits of quitting.
  • American Cancer Society. Guide to quitting smoking.
  • Quit guide: preparing to quit.
Copyright © OptumHealth.
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