Prepare to quit

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Quitting smoking can be tough. As you get ready to quit, think about how tobacco fits into your life and what's going to be hard about giving it up.

Perhaps you smoke to cope with stress or when you’re lonely or bored. It's also likely that tobacco has become a part of your daily ritual. Maybe you always have a cigarette with your coffee or after a meal.

If this is true for you, quitting will be not only about handling nicotine withdrawal but also about finding other ways to reduce stress, build new routines, and get emotional support without tobacco.

Starting with small steps can increase your confidence and make it easier to quit when the time is right. The more prepared you are, the better your chances for success.

Successful quitting takes:

  • having a plan
  • knowing your motivation to quit
  • learning about your smoking habit and triggers
  • finding a new, healthy habit to replace smoking
  • making a commitment
  • asking for support from family, friends, and your doctor

Getting ready to quit

Here are some ways to prepare yourself and gain the confidence to become a nonsmoker.

  • List all the reasons you want to quit. Every night before going to bed, repeat one of those reasons 10 times.
  • Develop personal reasons to quit in addition to your health and obligations to others. For example, think of all the time you waste taking cigarette breaks.
  • Begin to condition yourself physically. Start a modest exercise program, drink more fluids, and get plenty of rest.
  • Set a target date for quitting — perhaps a special day such as your birthday, your anniversary, or the Great American SmokeoutKaiser Permanente is not responsible for the content or policies of external Internet sites..

Reviewed by: EW Emanuel, MD, February 2016

Additional Kaiser Permanente reviewers

© 2016 Kaiser Permanente