Quit Smoking and Other Tobacco Products

Sign up for a group program or call the Norton Healthcare Access Center at (502) 629-1234.

For one-on-one help to quit smoking, ask your primary care provider to refer you to the program.

Make a Plan

One of the keys to successfully quitting is preparation. A great way to prepare to quit using tobacco is to create a quit plan. Quit plans:

  • Combine quitting strategies to keep you focused, confident and motivated to quit
  • Help you identify challenges you will face as you quit and ways to overcome them
  •  Can improve your chances of quitting for good

The following steps will help you create your own quit plan. As you move through the steps, keep a record of your plan with you.

Pick a quit date

When it comes to choosing a quit date, sooner is better than later. Many smokers choose a date within two weeks to quit. This will give you enough time to prepare. Really think about your quit date. Avoid choosing a day where you know you will be busy, stressed or tempted to smoke (e.g., a night out with friends or days where you may smoke at work).

Next step: Circle your quit day on your calendar. Write it out somewhere where you will see it every day. This will remind you of your decision to become tobacco-free and give you time to prepare to quit.

Let loved ones know you are quitting

Quitting is easier with support from important people in your life. Let them know ahead of your quit date that you are planning to quit. Explain how they can help you quit. We all need different things, so let friends and family know exactly how they can help.

Next step: Support is one of the keys to successfully quitting. However, it can be hard to ask for help, even from the people closest to you. Review places to turn for help to make sure you get the help you need.

Remove reminders of smoking or tobacco

Getting rid of smoking reminders can keep you on track. Smoking reminders can include your cigarettes, matches, ashtrays, lighters, snuff cans and spittoons. It also may help to make things clean and fresh at work, in your car and at home. Even the smell of cigarettes can cause a cigarette craving.

Next step: Throw away all your cigarettes and matches or snuff. Give or throw away your lighters, ashtrays, spittoons, etc. Don’t save a pack of cigarettes or can of snuff “just in case.”

Identify your reasons to quit

Everyone has their own reasons for quitting. Maybe they want to be healthier, save some money or keep their family safe. As you prepare to quit, think about your own reasons for quitting. Remind yourself of them every day. They can inspire you to stop for good.

Next step: Make a list of all the reasons you want to quit. Keep it in a place where you can see it every day. Any time you feel the urge to smoke or use tobacco, review your list. It will keep you motivated to stay tobacco-free.

Identify your triggers

When you use tobacco, it becomes tied to many parts of your life. Certain activities, feelings and people are linked to it. When you come across these things, they may trigger or turn on your urge to use tobacco. Try to anticipate these triggers and develop ways to deal with them.

Next step: Make a list of what triggers you to start using tobacco. Now, write down one way you can deal with or avoid each item on your list. Keep this list nearby during your quit.

Develop coping strategies

Nicotine is the chemical in tobacco products that makes you addicted. When you stop using tobacco, your body has to adjust to no longer having nicotine in its system. This is called withdrawal. Withdrawal can be unpleasant, but you can get through it. Developing strategies to cope with withdrawal ahead of time can help you stay tobacco-free for good.

Next steps: Medications and behavior changes can help you manage the symptoms of withdrawal. Many medications to help you quit are available over-the-counter and from your doctor. Make sure you have them on hand prior to your quit. While medications will help, they can’t do all the work for you. Develop other strategies to use with medications. Remember that withdrawal symptoms, including cravings, will fade with every day that you stay tobacco-free.

Set up rewards for milestones

Quitting happens one minute, one hour, one day at a time. Reward yourself as you reach milestones. Celebrate being 24 hours tobacco-free, one week tobacco-free, one month tobacco-free, etc. Quitting is hard — be proud of your accomplishments. Source: National Cancer Institute (Smokefree.gov)

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