Your quit day checklist
On the day you stop smoking, you’ll start changing the way you think and the way you act. Get started by thinking about and preparing for these changes.
Remove as many temptations as possible
- Get rid of all your cigarettes. Don’t keep any in your home or car or at work. Get rid of all smoking reminders, such as ashtrays, matches, and lighters
- Schedule a day that is as stress-free or busy as you can make it, depending on which is more helpful to you.
- Avoid high-risk situations—situations in which the urge to smoke is strong
Get support and encouragement
- Talk to a former smoker. Find out how he or she stopped. Then ask for support.
- Tell a friend, family member or co-worker about your plan to stop smoking. Be sure you explain why quitting smoking is important to you. Then ask for support.
- Find out if a support group for former smokers meets in your community. Plan on attending at least one meeting to see if it may help.
Change your daily routine
- Consider drinking a glass of water instead of lighting up. The extra water will help flush the nicotine from your body.
- Drive a different route to work.
- Don’t sit in your favorite smoking chair.
- Keep busy. Begin a project that you’ve been putting off.
- Stay in nonsmoking areas as much as possible.
- Take a brisk 20-minute walk if it is OK with your doctor.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Eat in a different place.
- Avoid idle times.
Coping with withdrawal and the urge to smoke
- Realize that urges don’t last long and will go away in a few minutes.
- Talk to your doctor or counselor about medications that ease nicotine withdrawal.
- Do deep-breathing exercises.
- Brush your teeth instead of lighting up.
- Keep your hands busy.
- Think about aspects of smoking or tobacco use that you don’t like.
- Leave the scene for a few minutes, if possible, when you get the urge to smoke.
- Think about some enjoyable activity or relaxing place for a brief time.
- Call someone and talk about your feelings.
Change the way you think about smoking
- Don’t worry about tomorrow, next week or the rest of your life. Try to take it one day at a time, one hour at a time, one urge at a time.
- Recognize that smoking just one cigarette can undo your hard work and lead you back into old patterns.
- Remind yourself of the benefits of quitting. Review your readiness self-assessment.
- Review your progress often and give yourself positive messages and rewards.
- Realize that you’re gaining control.