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Tips To Quit Smoking

Download Tips To Quit Smoking pdf document (23k) handout.

Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, and 200 of them are poisonous.

  • Get ready.
    • Set a quit date.
    • Throw away ALL cigarettes, lighters, matches, and ashtrays in your home, car, and place of work.
    • Don't let people smoke in your home.
    • Review your past attempts to quit. Think about what worked and what didn't.
    • Once you quit, don't smoke – NOT EVEN A PUFF! One cigarette can cause you to start smoking again.
  • Line up support.
    • Tell your family, friends, and coworkers that you are going to quit smoking and want their help. Ask them not to smoke around you and not to offer you cigarettes.
    • Get individual, group, or telephone counseling. The more counseling you have, the better your chances are of quitting.
  • Find ways to relax.
    • Try to distract yourself from urges to smoke. Talk to a friend, go for a walk, or get busy with a task.
    • Change your routine. Use a different route to work. Drink tea instead of coffee.
    • Do something to reduce your stress. Listen to music, do aerobics, or dance to your favorite music.
    • Plan something enjoyable to do every day.
    • Drink a lot of water when you feel the urge to smoke.
  • Use other quitting aids.
    • Talk to your doctor or other health care providers. Consider using the nicotine patch, nicotine gum, or nicotine spray to help you stay off cigarettes.
    • Check with your doctor about a medicine called bupropion SR. This medicine can help reduce your cravings for smoking.
  • Be prepared if you do not have immediate success.
    • Avoid drinking alcohol. Drinking lowers your chances of success.
    • Spend more time with friends who do not smoke. Being around smokers can make you want to smoke.
    • Many smokers will gain weight when they quit, usually fewer than 10 pounds. Eat a healthy diet, and stay active. Don't let weight gain distract you from your main goal – quitting smoking.
    • If you're in a bad mood or feel depressed, try a new activity. Take a walk, talk to a friend, or meditate to improve your mood.
    • Be kind to yourself. Remind yourself of the reasons you want to quit. If you slip, do not be discouraged. Try again!

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Information on this page is taken from the English print version of “Your Heart, Your Life, A Community Health Worker's Manual.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, NIH Publication No. 08-3674, Originally Printed 1999, Revised May 2008.

Last Updated March 2012

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