Health Effects of Tobacco

Set a quit date and stick to it

Quitting smoking or chewing tobacco isn’t a last-minute decision – at least not for most people. If you want to kick a tobacco addiction, put a plan in place to give yourself the best shot at success. And that starts with picking a quit date.

Pick a date: Planning is an important part of quitting smoking or chewing tobacco. Choose a day to quit between two and four weeks away. This will give you enough time to prepare yourself, but not so much time that you lose motivation and talk yourself out of it.

Choose wisely: If you can, pick a day when you won’t be stressed out, like a weekend rather than a workday.  If you’ve identified your triggers and know what environments cause you to reach for a cigarette, limit your exposure to these on your quit day as much as possible.

Make it known: Tell your family and friends about your quit date so they know how and when to support you, and to keep you accountable. If you’re comfortable, you could even share it on social media, so you have even more reason to hold yourself accountable.

Visit your doctor or nurse: As part of your preparation, visit your health care provider before your quit day. They can offer tips and advice on how to be successful in quitting smoking or chewing tobacco and recommend different options for nicotine replacement therapy.

Wind down: Don’t pressure yourself to drop tobacco before your chosen start date but try smoking or chewing a bit less each day leading up to it. This could give you a bit of a head start in easing off of tobacco completely.

Clean start: Before your quit date, give your house a thorough cleaning to get rid of smells associated with smoking, as well as any paraphernalia like ashtrays and lighters. The less reminders of tobacco the better. Making smoking or chewing less accessible also forces you to take a pause when you have a craving and remember your reasons for quitting.