Quit Smoking

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Quit Smoking

QUIT FOR LIFE
 
Why should I quit? 
  • Everyone has their own reason for wanting to quit, here are some of the most common ones. 
  • To improve your health and reduce risk of life threatening diseases.
  • To enjoy a better quality of life, to be fitter and healthier.
  • To be a better role model for your family and friends
  • To have more money in your pocket. Find out how much by using the cost calculator in the quit plan
  • To regain control over your life – smoking won’t dictate your daily routine.
  • To improve your image, have better skin, teeth, hair and nicer smelling clothes.
  • To reduce the work you have to do to keep your home and car clean.
  • To improve the quality of the air in your home for your family and friends.
  • To improve your self-esteem and to be better able to deal with the daily stresses of life.
Smoking Facts
  • 1 in every 2 smokers will die of a tobacco related disease
  • Most smokers (83%) regret that they ever started smoking and would not smoke if they had the choice again.
  • Smoking takes 10 to 15 years quality years off your life.
  • Every 6.5 seconds someone in the world dies from tobacco use = 1.5 million people dying needlessly each year.
  • Every cigarette a person smokes reduces his/her life by five and a half minutes.
  • In Ireland, smoking is the leading cause of avoidable death. Nearly 5.,500 people die in Ireland each year from the effects of smoking and thousands of others are ill because of smoking-related diseases.

To start your quit journey today go to https://www.quit.ie/ or for more information continue reading below

 

The benefits of quitting
 
The health benefits start right away when you quit smoking:
  • Within 20 minutes your circulation will improve, your heart rate and blood pressure will get lower. This reduces your risk of heart attack straight away.
  • Within 8 hours the carbon monoxide level in your blood will drop and the oxygen level will go up.
  • Within 24-48 hours all the carbon monoxide will have left your body.
  • Within a few days your sense of smell and taste will start to improve. 
  • After 72 hours your breathing will improve and your energy levels will increase.
  • Within 2 or 3 months your lung capacity can increase by up to 30%. 
  • Within 1 year your chance of heart attack drops by half and within 10 years the risk drops to almost the same as a non-smoker.
  • Within 5 years the risk of smoking related cancers will be greatly reduced.
  • Once you give up, your lungs start to fight back by coughing up tar. A mug full of tar builds up in the lungs of a 20 a day smoker over the period of a year. It is the toxic chemicals in tar that cause cancer.
 
These are just some benefits. No matter what age you quit smoking, you will:
  • Look and feel better
  • Have fresher breath and cleaner teeth, hair, skin and fingers
  • Have more control of your life
  • Be fitter and have more energy
  • Reduce your risk of illness
  • Reduce the complications of existing illnesses
  • Have a better quality of life
  • Be a good role model for your children or grandchildren
  • Have more money
  • Have a healthier family as they will not be exposed to your second-hand smoke
 
Am I addicted?
 
Addiction is when you feel that you need something in order to be normal regardless of its harmful effects. The body also grows to rely on this substance and you need more of it to satisfy the craving for it. This is called tolerance. When you stop using this substance suddenly, you will experience withdrawal symptoms. This is common when giving up smoking. 
 
 
Are you addicted? 
  • Have you ever felt a need to cut down or control your smoking, but found it hard to do so?
  • Do you ever get annoyed or angry with people who criticise your smoking or tell you that you should give up?
  • Have you ever felt guilty about your smoking or about something you did while smoking?
  • Do you smoke within half an hour of waking up?
 
If you answer ‘yes’ to 2 or more of the question above then you are addicted. You can use the How addicted am I? tool in the quit plan to work out how addicted you are to tobacco. Knowing how addicted you are will help you to decide what treatments to use to help you give up, and give you an idea of how difficult your withdrawals are likely to be. Matching yourself to the right kind of treatment is important if you want to give up for good.
 
 
What's in a cigarette
 
There are around 4000 chemicals in cigarette smoke, here are just a handful of them.
 
Nicotine
 
Nicotine is a colourless, poisonous alkaloid, derived from the tobacco plant. It is a powerful drug, which affects the brain and quickly becomes addictive. It can also be found in weedkiller.
 
Tar
 
“Tar” is the term used to describe the toxic chemicals found in cigarettes. This is a sticky brown substance that forms when tobacco cools and condenses. It collects in the lungs and can cause cancer.
 
Carbon Monoxide 
 
An odourless, colourless gas that is released from burning tobacco. When it is inhaled it enters the blood stream and interferes with the working of the heart and the blood vessels. Up to 15% of a smoker’s blood can be carrying carbon monoxide instead of oxygen. 
 
Arsenic
 
Arsenic-containing pesticides used in tobacco farming occur in small quantities in cigarette smoke. Arsenic is commonly found in rat poison.
 
Ammonia - floor cleaner
 
Ammonia is a toxic, colourless gas with a sharp odour. Ammonia compounds are commonly used in cleaning products and fertilizers. Also used to boost the impact of nicotine in manufactured cigarettes. 
 
Acetone - Nail polish remover
 
Fragrant volatile liquid ketone, used as a solvent, for example, nail polish remover.
 
Toluene - Explosives
 
Toluene is a highly toxic chemical. The main uses of toluene in industry include rubbers, oils, resins, adhesives, inks, detergents, dyes and explosives.
 
Methylamine - tanning lotion
 
A chemical found in tanning lotion.
 
Pesticides - DDT
 
A number of pesticides (chemicals used to kill pests, usually insects) are present in cigarette smoke. - pesticides are toxic. These pesticides find their way into cigarettes because they’re used on tobacco plants as they are growing. 
 
Polonium –210
 
A radioactive element – used in nuclear weapons, also used as an atomic heat source.
 
Methanol 
 
A fuel used in the aviation industry.
 
Formaldehyde
 
It causes cancer, and can damage your lungs, skin and digestive system. Embalmers use it to preserve dead bodies.
 
Lead
 
Lead poisoning stunts your growth, makes you vomit, and damages your brain.
 
 
Treatments
 
There are many treatments available to help you give up smoking – some work well and some are a waste of time, money and your quitting energy! To help you decide on how you will give up, we recommend the following treatments that really can make giving up easier for you. The information below is based on the science of ‘smoking cessation’ – it uses evidence from studies involving thousands of people around the world. 
 
Support methods that work
 
One-to-one support
 
This form of intensive support combined with drug treatments has the highest success rates. . Smoking cessation advisors are specially trained to support you through the quitting process. You can attend smoking cessation clinics for one-to-one sessions that are tailored to meet your needs. They usually take place for 1-4 weeks before your quit date and continue for up to one year after you quit.
These sessions will:
  1. Look at your desire and readiness to quit,
  2. Take a history of your smoking habit, 
  3. Assess your nicotine addiction, 
  4. Identify your reasons for quitting and any difficulties or risks of relapse,
  5. Create a personal plan for your quitting, 
  6. Measure your carbon monoxide levels, 
  7. Recommend suitable medical treatment, refer you to doctor for prescription and follow-up. 
 
Group support
 
Group courses are usually six weeks long and meet once a week for about an hour. They are usually run by smoking cessation advisors and can be very effective. In the first session the members of the group introduce themselves, they review past attempts to quit, determine reasons for quitting and set a quit date for the group. At follow-up meetings, members discuss their progress, address any difficulties, swap coping tips, and encourage one another to stay quit. The advisors will measure each member’s carbon monoxide levels (before and after quitting), their level of nicotine addiction, and recommend medical treatment. Contact the National Smokers’ Quitline on callsave 1850 201 203 to talk to an advisor or to find you nearest HSE stop smoking service.
 
Self-help
 
There are leaflets and books available which give you information on how to give up, what to expect when you give up smoking, the health effects of smoking and tips on how to stay stopped. Others focus on changing your attitude towards smoking. These are better than having no form of support but you are more likely to succeed with one-to-one or group support.
 
Drug treatments that work
 
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
 
These are treatments which make giving up more comfortable. They reduce or remove the physical symptoms of withdrawal. NRT can make it easier for you to give up while you change your habit and attitude towards smoking. This can increase your chances of success. People who give up without help or treatment have a 2-3% success rate. Your doctor, pharmacist or the person from your local HSE stop smoking service can advise you about NRT and how it may help you to give up smoking. You can get NRT in the following forms: patches, gum, tablets, lozenges or inhaler. Please read the information leaflets provided with each treatment.
 
When deciding which treatment to use, think about the following:
  • how addicted you are to nicotine,
  • your smoking habit and routine,
  • your lifestyle and how well each treatment would fit in with this.
 
You can find out how addicted you are and how to change your routine by starting your quit plan today.You will need a doctor’s recommendation for NRT if you:
  • Are pregnant 
  • Are under 18 
  • Have had a recent heart attack.
 
Nicotine replacement therapy is available to medical card holders free of charge with a doctor’s prescription.
 
About nicotine
 
Nicotine is what makes smoking hard to quit. It is not the nicotine, but the tar and carbon monoxide in a cigarette that cause illness. NRT replaces the nicotine that your body misses when you quit, and you cut out the tobacco smoke that contains 4,800 chemicals. NRT replaces just enough nicotine to relieve the cravings and withdrawal symptoms – restlessness, anxiety, lack of concentration, hunger pangs and so on. 
One of the biggest problems we meet in our clinics is that people stop using their treatment too soon. After quitting gets easier in week 1-3, they assume that they are now ‘cured’ from their addiction and can do it alone. They stop using the treatment before they have learned to change their habit and attitude towards smoking. Within 2-3 days of stopping NRT, the withdrawal symptoms return and they relapse. You are more likely to succeed if you stay on your treatment for the recommended time.
 
Nicotine patches
 
This treatment reduces or removes the withdrawals you can have when you give up smoking. Patches suit the moderately addicted smoker. They can be used for 16 hour or 24 hour periods. There is no difference in the effectiveness of 16 hour and 24 hour patches. They work by giving you a steady dose of nicotine into the blood through your skin. The 24 hour patch keeps the nicotine levels constant and is for people who smoke as soon as they wake up and people who smoke during the night. 
Put the patch on a different part of your body each day so it won’t irritate your skin. Some people may have high skin sensitivity or react badly to the adhesive or latex in the patches. If this happens to you, switch to a different form of NRT. The nicotine doses in the patches can poison children and animals so be careful where you store and dispose of them.
Your GP, pharmacist or stop smoking advisor will be able to advise you if nicotine patches are suitable for you and explain how to use it correctly.
 
Nicotine gum
 
Nicotine gum relieves withdrawal symptoms and gives you something to do with your mouth in place of smoking. This can help change your habit of smoking.
The gum is available in various strengths depending on how addicted you are to nicotine, your GP, pharmacist or stop smoking advisor will be able to explain how to use nicotine gum correctly.
 
Nicotine inhaler
 
The inhaler (sometimes called an inhalator) is made up of a mouth piece and cartridges which contain nicotine. When you inhale, the nicotine and menthol vapour is sucked into your body. This is absorbed into the blood through the lining of your mouth and throat. The mouthpiece is like a pen and replaces smoking with the hand and mouth action. It will suit you if you miss the routine of smoking and the puffing sensation. 
Your GP, pharmacist or stop smoking advisor will be able to advise you if the nicotine inhaler is suitable for you and explain how to use it correctly.
 
Nicotine lozenge
 
The lozenge comes in various strengths depending on how addicted you are to nicotine. Some people prefer the taste of lozenges over other oral forms of NRT. Nicotine is absorbed into the blood through the lining of your mouth as you suck. Lozenges may irritate your mouth and stomach and cause hiccups as you swallow the nicotine. 
Your GP, pharmacist or stop smoking advisor will be able to advise you if the nicotine lozenge is suitable for you and explain how to use it correctly.
 
The Microtab
 
This is a tiny tablet that discreetly relieves your withdrawal symptoms. The microtab is placed under your tongue and dissolves, the nicotine is absorbed into the blood through the lining of the mouth. Microtabs are available in different strengths depending on how addicted you are to nicotine.
Your GP, pharmacist or stop smoking advisor will be able to advise you if the microtab is suitable for you and explain how to use it correctly.
 
 
Other Drug Treatments
 
Zyban (bupropion HCL SR)
 
Zyban was the first tablet used to help people quit smoking and does not contain nicotine. Zyban was first used as an anti-depressant (Wellbutrin). It was discovered that it could help with giving up smoking when people who were taking it for depression found they no longer felt the same urges to smoke, drink coffee and eat sweet foods. In the studies that followed, Zyban had double or even treble the success rates of other treatments. It works in a similar way to nicotine – releasing chemicals which make you feel good. This reduces the cravings, restlessness, irritability, low moods and weight gain that most quitters have. Your doctor will be able to advise you what the best treatment is for you. You should talk to them before you plan to stop smoking as Zyban needs to be taken for a period of time before you intend to give-up and is not suitable for everyone.
 
Champix (varenicline HCL)
 
Champix does not contain nicotine and is only available on prescription. You take it for a 12 week course. The drug works in two ways:
  1. You continue to smoke for the first 10-14 days of the treatment. As the drug builds up in your system, you will notice that you do not get the same enjoyment from your cigarettes and you will not smoke as often. 
  2. When you quit smoking completely, the drug takes over the role of nicotine by stimulating the brain to release the chemical dopamine. This makes you feel good and reduces your withdrawal symptoms – cravings, restlessness, irritability, low mood and weight gain. 
Your doctor will be able to advise you what the best treatment is for you. You should talk to them before you plan to stop smoking.
 
 
High risk situations
 
There are certain situations when you are more likely to want to smoke. It’s important to identify these high risk situations and to make a plan to reduce your risk of relapse. Changing your lifestyle can help support your decision to quit smoking and stay stopped. After you deal with the risky situation a few times, you’ll become more confident in the future and less likely to relapse. 
 
Stress
 
Every time you smoke your body produces adrenaline, the ‘fight-or-flight’ hormone, that actually makes you more stressed, it raises you blood pressure and increases you heart rate. So you might think that a cigarette helps you cope with stress but it actually does the opposite. If you would normally reach for a cigarette when you feel stressed try some of the tips below.
 
Tips for coping with stress:
 
  • Work it off by taking a walk in the fresh air or a run around the house. 
  • Talk to someone you really trust.
  • Learn to accept what you cannot change.
  • Don’t self-medicate with alcohol, cannabis, too much coffee or tranquillizers.
  • Get enough sleep and rest to recharge your batteries.
  • Take time out for activities that you really enjoy or try out some new ones such as yoga, Tai Chi, aromatherapy.
  • Doing something for others can make you feel good too.
  • Take one thing at a time.
  • Sometimes it’s best to agree with someone instead of life being a constant battleground. 
  • Prioritise your day ahead and only do the things you have to do.
  • Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’.
  • Plan ahead by saying ‘no’ now.
  • If you are ill, don’t try to carry on as if you’re not.
  • Develop a hobby. It’s important to have time out from your family and your work. 
  • Only you can change the way you react to stress. Think creatively about how to manage your life better and get on with it!
  • Eating good meals at regular times will help your mood.
  • Use a stress reduction technique every day, such as deep breathing. 
  • Know when you are tired and do something about it.
  • Delegate responsibility. A few minutes spent getting someone else to help you will be time well spent if it makes your day less hectic.
  • Be realistic about what you can achieve. Forget perfection.
 
Moods
 
You may have low moods, bad moods, increased anxiety or irritability when you stop smoking. These are temporary feelings and will get easier after the first four weeks. You may over react to things that normally wouldn’t bother you. This is normal. You are not used to coping with life without cigarettes and it may make you irritable. Try to find new ways of coping with emotions like anger, upset, annoyance, stress.
 
These tips may help you cope:
  • Remind yourself that your choice to smoke or not to smoke is still there.
  • Discover new ways of dealing with negative feelings rather than reaching for a cigarette.
  • Remind yourself that the feeling is temporary; it will go away.
  • Congratulate yourself for coping with life without smoking.
  • Ask others to understand and be patient.
  • Do things that make you feel good.
  • Get a good night’s sleep.
 
Getting good or bad news
 
You may be used to reaching for a cigarette when you get good news or bad news. Smoking will not change the good or bad news or help the situation. It will only reduce your chance of quitting for good. Have a good cry, tell someone how you are feeling. Take 20 slow deep breaths over a period of a few minutes to help relax
 
Alcohol and social events
 
Alcohol could weaken your resolve to stop smoking and stay stopped. Most smokers associate a drink with a smoke so consider changing your drink or cutting down on the amount of alcohol you drink, especially during the first few weeks. Swap hands if you used to smoke with one particular hand and hold your drink in that hand instead. Use your common sense about going to pubs after you quit. You may be able to cope in week 3 but it’s probably a bad idea to go to a wild party on day 1!
 
Making excuses to smoke
 
Beware of the following excuses to smoke:
  • Keeping a pack of cigarettes in the house
  • Buying cheap tobacco ‘for friends’ while on holiday
  • Lighting or holding other people’s cigarettes
  • Getting so drunk that you forget you are trying to quit
  • Sitting in smoking areas ‘just for a chat’
  • Thinking that smoking ‘doesn’t count’ if: 
  • It is a joint
  • It is an ultra-light cigarette
  • It is someone else’s cigarette
  • No-one sees you smoke it
  • You didn’t actually buy any cigarettes
  • You are on holiday
  • Offering to ‘look after’ someone else’s cigarettes
  • Thinking. ‘There’s so much smoke in here, I might as well smoke myself’
  • When craving, going to see a smoking friend for a ‘heart to heart’
  • Picking an argument with your partner or friend who smokes, knowing that in the end they will tell you to shut up and have a cigarette (and give you one)
 
Being with people who smoke
 
You’re free to be like them but is that what you really want? Deep down I bet they wish they could quit too.
  • Smile! Say ‘NOPE’ – Not One Puff Even!
  • Practice saying ‘No thanks I don’t smoke’ in front of the mirror each day. 
  • Ask friends and family who smoke to help you by not offering you cigarettes and not smoking around you. 
  • Ask them to smoke outside.
  • Move away from smokers until you feel in control of yourself again. Look around for people who are not smoking.
Habits and routines
 
Morning - Change your routine. Brush your teeth and use mouthwash first thing.
After meals - Brush your teeth, do the dishes, move to another room or call a friend.
Tea or coffee - Change to fruit juices or water. Use different flavoured teas such as chamomile. Change the hand that you hold the cup in. 
Telephone - Chew sugarless gum or drink water through a straw. When on your mobile phone, walk away from where the cigarettes are.
Driving - Listen to music, sing, chew sugarless gum, drink bottled water, deep breathe, count backwards from 100.
Before bed - Change your routine. Have a bath, go to bed early and read a book.
 
I slipped up - What you can do:
  • Don’t feel a failure.
  • Congratulate yourself on what you have achieved so far.
  • Get back on the non-smoking track immediately – if you are determined to stop smoking you can do it.
  • Ask yourself what caused the slip and decide how you will handle this differently in the future. Promise yourself that you won’t take the same risk again.
  • Look at your quit plan again and look at doing something differently. 
  • Don’t give up on giving up.
 
Withdrawals
 
Withdrawal symptoms refer to the signs and symptoms that appear when a drug that causes physical dependence, for example nicotine is suddenly stopped or decreased in dosage. Physical withdrawal from nicotine is temporary, but it can be uncomfortable while it lasts. Understanding what to expect when you give up smoking and following the tips provided here for coping will help you move through this stage more easily.
 
The following list contains commonly reported symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. Most people experience some of these, but rarely all of them. Remember everyone is different and most withdrawal symptoms return to normal within one month of giving up. Check with your doctor if you’re concerned about any symptom you’re having to giving up smoking, or if nicotine withdrawal symptoms persist.
 
Click on the links below to find out more about withdrawal symptoms.
  • Cravings
  • Moods, Irritability and anxiety 
  • Sleep Pattern
  • Concentration levels/Problem Solving
  • Energy levels
  • Digestion
  • Signs your body is getting better
  • Breathing
  • Weight gain
  • hunger
 
 
Cravings
 
Your craving for nicotine will peak at 3-5 minutes and will pass if you deal with it. This desire will weaken over 4-6 weeks.
 
Practice using the 4 Ds
  • Distract yourself by focusing on something else 
  • Delay until the urge passes – usually within 3 to 5 minutes 
  • Deep breathe 20 times 
  • Drink a glass of cold water or fruit juice
 
There are treatments that can help reduce the intensity of these cravings. Find out more about treatments.
 
 
Moods, irritability and anxiety
 
You may have low moods, bad moods, increased anxiety or irritability when you give up smoking. These are temporary feelings and will get easier after the first four weeks. You may over react to things that normally wouldn’t bother you. This is normal. You are not used to coping with life without cigarettes and it may make you irritable.
 
Here are some coping strategies that you can learn:
  • Remind yourself that your choice to smoke or not to smoke is still there 
  • Discover new ways of dealing with negative feelings rather than reaching for a cigarette 
  • Remind yourself that the feeling is temporary; it will go away 
  • Congratulate yourself for coping with life without smoking 
  • Ask others to understand and be patient 
  • Do things that make you feel good
 
How to relax and reduce stress
  • Any activity you enjoy can help you to relax and reduce stress 
  • Physical activity can help – walking, jogging, cycling, dancing or swimming. 
  • Listen to music, read, sew, woodwork, do a jigsaw or garden 
  • Try a relaxation exercise 
  • Regular deep breathing exercises x 20 slow breaths are a great way of relaxing and dealing with difficult situations 
 
Sleep pattern
 
Your sleep pattern can take 2-3 weeks to settle. Reduce caffeine – coffee, tea, and cola. Exercise may also help. Relax before bedtime – read a book or have an aromatherapy bath. Redecorate your bedroom using the money you’ve saved.
 
Concentration levels and problem solving
 
You may find that your ability to concentrate or problem solve gets better or worse. Take extra time to do things. Make a ‘to do’ list. Organise your day by prioritising what you need to do.
 
 
Energy levels
 
You energy levels may increase in the first few days after you give up smoking. This is because more oxygen is getting into your blood stream and carbon monoxide has left your system. Some people may have less energy for a while. You will normally feel better after the first few weeks.
 
 
Digestion
 
About 10% of people who give up smoking will notice a change in their bowel habits. People who haven’t had a problem with constipation in the past may now experience it. To help deal with this, eat lots of fruit, fibre and vegetables, drink lots of water and exercise every day. It can take 2-3 weeks to settle. Your pharmacist may be able to recommend something to ease the problem.
 
 
Signs your body is getting better
 
Cough or sore throat -   This usually gets worse before it gets better. It is caused by your body clearing the respiratory tract. Breathe in steam or sip water.
Mouth ulcers and dry mouth - This often happens in the first two weeks after giving up smoking. This is a sign that the blood supply to the lining of your mouth is improving.
Dizziness and headaches - These happen because more oxygen is reaching your brain. 
If you have dizziness and suffer from a heart complaint, talk to your doctor.
Tingling in hands or feet - This is caused by the increased oxygen supply in the blood to the limbs and is a positive sign that your body is recovering.
 
 
Breathing
 
One of the first signs of improvement you may feel is in your breathing. This happens as more oxygen is available to your body and carbon monoxide is cleared out. You may feel fitter and be able to walk further and faster – stopping half way up the stairs may be a thing of the past. If you have asthma you may need less of your inhaler medications.
To make the most of your new breathing ability, try to increase your exercise such as walking, jogging, swimming, playing with your children or grandchildren.
 
 
Your weight
 
Most smokers fear that giving up smoking will lead them to put on weight. The average weight gain is around 5-10lbs. This fear of gaining weight prevents many smokers from trying to stop, while others stop and then relapse when they put on weight. Most of the weight you gain when you give up smoking is caused by an increase in calories. This will happen if you replace smoking with food. However, you can stay your usual weight if you eat sensibly and get more active. Try to:
  • Remind yourself that giving up is the most important thing you can do for your health. 
  • Eat three well-balanced meals per day, snack only on healthy foods. 
  • Keep low calorie snacks handy such as carrot sticks, celery and fruit. 
  • Drink plenty of water and low calorie drinks. 
  • Eat more fruit and vegetables. 
  • Make a fruit salad each morning and keep it in the fridge.
 
 
Hunger
 
You can confuse cravings for food with cravings for tobacco and vice versa. It’s important to eat three regular meals each day. If you feel hungry outside these meals, eat fruit or sip cold water.
 
 
My Plan to Quit Smoking
 
The first step in quitting smoking is to decide you want to quit. Remember, the decision to quit is yours alone. Others may want you to quit, but only you can make the commitment to quit. Once you’ve made up your mind to quit, it is important to pick a quit date ... and make a plan. There is no single “right” way to quit smoking. The 5-Day Countdown Plan may work for you.
 
5-Day Countdown Plan
 
5 Days Before Your Quit Date
  • Think about why you want to quit
  • Tell your friends and family you are planning to quit
  • Stop buying cigarettes
 
4 Days Before Your Quit Date
  • Pay attention to when and where you smoke
  • Think of other things to hold in your hand instead of a cigarette
  • Think of habits or routines to change
 
3 Days Before Your Quit Date
  • Think about what you will do with the money you save!
  • Make a list of people you can talk to if you need help
 
2 Days Before Your Quit Date
  • Buy your stop-smoking aid if you're going to use one, or continue taking any stop-smoking aids your doctor may have prescribed.
 
1 Day Before Your Quit Date
  • Throw away lighters and ashtrays
  • Throw away cigarettes and matches
  • Clean your clothes to get rid of cigarette smell
 
Quit Day
  • Keep very busy
  • Tell family and friends that this is your quit day
  • Stay away from alcohol
  • Give yourself a treat, or do something special
 
My Quit Plan
  • Try to set your quit date within the next 10 to 15 days. If you smoke mostly when relaxing or socialising, pick a weekday. If you smoke mostly at work, pick a day on a weekend or during a vacation. Once set, allow nothing to change it. Celebrate the date you became a non smoker every year!
 
My Quit Date:
  • Identify your personal reasons for quitting. For some, those reasons are to feel better, to live longer, to set a good example for their children, to cut their risk of heart attack or to save money.
 
Of all the reasons to quit, yours matter most.
 
My Reasons for Quitting:
  • Think of ways to change your routine to make smoking difficult, impossible or unnecessary. For example, ride your bike, go to the movies, walk the dog, try a new recipe, visit the dentist for a cleaning, get a manicure, start a garden, write a love letter . . .
 
My New Routines and Behaviours:
  • What sets off cravings? List as many as you can think of, such as drinking alcohol or coffee, being around other smokers or working under pressure. Plan ways to avoid these triggers and quell urges.
 
My Strategies for Overcoming Cravings:
  • Where can you find support and encouragement? Think of family members, friends and co-workers who are willing to help you if you need them to. Discuss your plans to quit with your doctor and other healthcare providers. Call 1-877-YES-QUIT for support and referrals to services in your community.
 
My Support Network:
  • Talk to your doctor about the right medications to ease your symptoms of withdrawal. For example, if you smoke steadily throughout the day, the nicotine patch might be right for you. If you smoke in response to cravings or stress, the gum or spray might suit you best. Your doctor can help find a combination that works for you.