Kicking the Habit: How to Choose a Quit Date
You've decided to stop smoking, so it's time to figure out when to have that last cigarette. Here are 5 tips for choosing your quit date.

powered by healthline

Average Ratings

Picture of cigarettes being cut up 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
Sources:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How to quit.
  • American Cancer Society. Guide to quitting smoking.
  • National Cancer Institute. Harms of smoking and health benefits of quitting.
  • Smokefree.gov. Quit guide: preparing to quit.
Copyright © OptumHealth.
Top of page
General Drug Tools
General Drug Tools view all tools
Tools for
Healthy Living
Tools for Healthy Living view all tools
Search Tools
Search Tools view all tools
Insurance Plan Tools
Insurance Plan Tools view all tools

What is a reference number?

When you register on this site, you are assigned a reference number. This number contains your profile information and helps UnitedHealthcare identify you when you come back to the site.

If you searched for a plan on this site in a previous session, you might already have a reference number. This number will contain any information you saved about plans and prescription drugs. To use that reference number, click on the "Change or view saved information" link below.

You can retrieve information from previous visits to this site, such as saved drug lists and Plan Selector information.