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
- Choose a quit date within the next few weeks. This will give you time to get yourself ready.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- Smokefree.gov. Quit guide: preparing to quit.