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Planning to Quit Smoking

You may have been thinking about quitting smoking. Or your healthcare provider may have told you that you need to quit. Only you can decide if and when you are ready to quit. Quitting is hard to do. It's not unusual to try a number of times before you completely stop. But don't get discouraged. The benefits will be worth it.

When you decide to quit, come up with a plan that’s right for you. Discuss your plan with your healthcare provider. And make sure you talk about medicines that can help you quit.

Man talking with a doctor

Support to quit

First, pick a quit date within the next 2 weeks. Use the time to make a plan and arrange for support, such as:

  • Support groups and counselors. Smoking-cessation groups can be very helpful. Group members can support each other both during and outside of group meetings. Counseling, even by phone, is also effective for some people. Ask your healthcare provider, local hospital, or public health department about available programs. Or call your state quitline at 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669). Also look for programs online such as and .

  • Family and friends. Tell your family and friends about your quit date and ask for their support. If they smoke, arrange to see them in smoke-free places. Don’t allow smoking in your home or car.

Smoking-cessation medicines

There are several medicines that can help you quit smoking. Some contain nicotine and some don't. And some are prescription while others are not. They can help control the desire to smoke and the uncomfortable symptoms people have when they try to quit. Others slowly lessen the level of nicotine in the body. It is the nicotine that makes it hard to quit. Your healthcare provider and pharmacist can tell you about all the choices available.

  • Prescription medicines. Bupropion, varenicline, and nicotine nasal spray or inhaler.

  • Nicotine replacement therapy. Gum, inhaler, lozenge, and patch.

My Plan

My quit date is: ___________________________

Friends and family who will support me are: ________________________________________________

If I want to smoke, I will: _______________________________________________________

I will remove tobacco products/not smoke on: _____________________________________________

Online Medical Reviewer: Eric Perez MD
Online Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Melinda Murray Ratini DO
Date Last Reviewed: 8/1/2023
© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.