Tips For Quitting

What happens when you talk to a quit coach, doctor, or other healthcare professional about quitting?
help, support, advice, guidance, assistance, info on a directional sign with the sky in the background

This section provides tips you can get if you want help dealing with urges and cravings. These have all been shown to help, with or without medicines.

You can try some out and use them when you quit, or learn more about them first by calling the free and confidential 1-800-QUIT-NOW quitline.

Adjust your medicine.
  • If your urges are hard to resist and you are using NRT, you may be able to use more. For instance, if you are using a lower-dose patch, you can increase to a higher dose. Or you can add the nicotine mini-lozenge or gum. Learn more about combining medicines. If you are using varenicline or bupropion, you can talk to your doctor or other healthcare professional about your urges, as well as using these other tips.
Make your environment work for you, not for smoking.
“No, I Won't Buy You Smokes”

You never know when a decision you make could undermine your efforts to quit smoking. James describes a moment he had with his roommate after he had resolved to stop smoking cigarettes. James realized the potential for relapse and took steps to make sure that it didn’t happen.

Distract yourself.

Former smokers share their tips for quitting smoking.

Find safe substitutes for cigarettes.

Find some substitutes for cigarettes for your mouth and hands. Keep them close by when you quit. Some ideas include:

“I Told Everyone I Stopped Smoking”

Beatrice describes things she did that helped her quit smoking. Find out how she recognized and avoided triggers.

Listen to what the urge says, then talk back!
woman sitting on the floor reading and thinking

You can also couple “talking backs” with using a distraction or substitute to help them pass.

It is helpful to practice listening to urges and talking back before you quit. For starters, write down two thoughts that you remember having recently when you had an urge to smoke. Now, think about each of these thoughts, and write down a “talk back” response.

Ride the waves!
woman walking along beach with surf board

For most people, the urge will begin to dissolve after a few minutes. Of course, you will get more urges later, but they will weaken with time. Practice riding the wave a few times a day. Then when you quit for good, you’ll be able to ride the waves like a pro!

All of these tactics to help deal with urges have been shown to help people who smoke to quit! They work best if you practice them before quitting. For more information, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW. A quit coach can help you with these and many other tips. It’s free and confidential!