Stop Smoking Countdown
If you're thinking about quitting smoking right now, here's how to take your best shot.
Once you make up your mind to quit, attitude is everything. The best ways to stay positive are to know what to expect and to be ready. The following tips can help you succeed.
Look ahead. Stay positive.
- Set a quit date in the near future
Give yourself time to prepare, but don't wait so long that you lose motivation.
If you're emotionally ready, start preparing today.
- Choose NicoDerm® CQ® with Committed Quitters®
NicoDerm CQ is a form of Therapeutic Nicotine. Therapeutic Nicotine reduces the
intensity of nicotine withdrawal cravings so you can focus on changing your behavior*.
Using a balanced approach such as NicoDerm CQ along with an individualized support
program like Committed Quitters — which comes free with NicoDerm CQ — dramatically
increases your chances of quitting*. Learn more about Committed Quitters.
- Think of all the ways quitting improves your life
Make a list of the benefits of not smoking and keep it in front of you. Review the
list every night before bed.
- Have your clothes, carpets, drapes and furniture cleaned
You may not notice now, but they smell like smoke.
- Set goals for yourself
Write down how you see yourself progressing over the next week, month and year.
Share your goals with the people in your support circle.
- Plan to reward yourself
Think of special treats you can give yourself at milestones. The first day, week,
month and year. Keep a list of rewards you look forward to — it will help keep you
- Visualize success
Begin to imagine yourself as a non-smoker. See yourself turning down a cigarette.
See yourself being so bored with smoking you can't imagine ever going back.
Get help. You don't have to go it alone.
- Go public
Tell your friends and family when you're quitting. Ask them for support and encouragement.
- Get your support group in place
Talk to key family and friends you'd like to be there for you. Find another smoker
who is trying to quit. Be sure to pick people who will listen and encourage you.
- Consider counseling
Studies show the more individual or group counseling you have, the better your chances
are of quitting for good. That's why NicoDerm CQ comes with Committed Quitters,
which gives you individualized support. For programs, contact your local hospital,
health center or department of health.
- Talk with your doctor
Guidance from a physician is a proven way to better your chances, even if you don't
have a specific medical reason to quit.
- Choose a stop-smoking aid
Therapeutic Nicotine can double your chances of quitting successfully because it
helps reduce the intensity of nicotine withdrawal cravings so you can focus on changing
your behavior. Is NicoDerm right for you? Find out >>
Manage triggers & cravings.
- Track your smoking triggers
Take notes of when and where you typically smoke. Who are you with? What are you
doing? How are you feeling? Now think how you will overcome your cravings in each
situation. More on Understanding Triggers.
- Prepare to manage nicotine withdrawal cravings
Most people go back to smoking because they aren't prepared for the intensity of
nicotine withdrawal cravings. More on Managing Cravings.
- Practice the five D's whenever you get a craving
Throw yourself off your habit
- Delay until the urge passes — usually within 3-5 minutes
- Distract yourself
- Drink water
- Deep Breaths — close your eyes and take 10 slow, deep breaths
- Discuss your feelings with someone close to you
Smoke with your opposite hand. Keep your cigarettes somewhere inconvenient so you
have to work to get them. Buy your cigarettes one pack at a time — never in a carton
— so smoking is actually a hassle for you.
Learn new skills and behaviors.
- Change your routines
Not just your smoking routines. Nicotine withdrawal cravings are triggered by your
habits too. So eat breakfast in a different place. Drink tea instead of coffee.
Take a new way to work. Plan a different kind of happy hour with friends.
- Breathe deeply
Each day for 3 to 5 minutes, breathe in through your nose very slowly, hold the
breath for a few seconds, then exhale very slowly through your mouth. Start today,
before you quit. It may even help you feel more relaxed.
- Change what you eat and drink
There are things that many people think don't "go" with cigarettes — like milk.
- Get ready physically
Start walking more. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Drink more fluids.
Get plenty of rest.
- Embrace exercise
Exercise relieves stress and may help your body recover from years of damage from
cigarettes. It also helps manage nicotine withdrawal symptoms. And may help you
keep your weight down.