A good quit-tobacco program can help you quit by providing support and encouragement. Programs are available for you to attend in person, by telephone, or online. Most state health departments can recommend a program in your area. Quit-tobacco programs are also called tobacco cessation programs.
When looking for a program:
- Look for a program that's led by someone who has had training in helping people quit tobacco.
- Avoid any program that promises to make quitting easy or that sounds like it has the only answer or a secret method that works better than any other method. There are no "magic bullets."
- Change your quit date to match the program date. In many communities, programs are only offered 2 or 3 times a year. Keep this in mind as you plan your timeline for quitting.
Good in-person programs for quitting:
- Have at least 4 to 7 sessions that include self-help materials and individual or group counseling.
- Have sessions that last at least 20 to 30 minutes.
- Last at least a month past your quit date. Some programs spend several weeks preparing for the quit date. A program is often most useful after you have quit.
- Are affordable. Many programs are free or low-cost. Others cost more. Some health insurance companies or employee assistance programs (EAPs) cover the cost of quit-tobacco programs.
Phone-based programs link callers to trained counselors. They can help you put together a quit plan that's tailored for you, and they can also help you avoid common problems. One resource that's available for free is the national tobacco quitline: 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669).
Online quit-tobacco programs may work for you if your schedule doesn't allow you to attend in-person programs. There are many programs that offer resources to help you quit. See www.smokefree.gov for one example.
Some programs send encouraging, informative text messages several times a day. Go to www.smokefree.gov and look for SmokefreeTXT.
Current as of: November 8, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Christine R. Maldonado PhD - Behavioral Health