Take the Steps to Plan to Stop Smoking

The California Smokers’ Helpline provides a number of free services to help smokers and other tobacco users quit. The California Smokers’ Helpline can be reached at 1-800-NO-BUTTS.

If you are interested in quitting, there are 5 steps to planning to stop smoking.

Step 1: Make the decision to quit

Tobacco users who are trying to quit can decide whether or not to quit cold turkey or to use a quitting aid. Quitting aids can help with withdrawal symptoms. Not everyone experiences withdrawal symptoms. Some of which include the following: cravings, irritability, fatigue, headache, coughing, dizziness, insomnia, poor concentration, and constipation.

Step 2: Set your quit date

Figure out what date you plan on quitting within the next two weeks. It helps to make the decision to quit on that day or, if you prefer, sooner.

Step 3: Keep your triggers in mind

Triggers are times when you’ll have a strong urge to smoke. It helps to think of the first day. Afterwards, look ahead to the first week of quitting. Triggers that happen during the weekday and weekend can vary, so think of those particular triggers.

Step 4: Determine how you will deal with your triggers

When you have the urge to smoke, think of how that cigarette helps. Does it fill time? Does it cut down stress? Does it help you wake up? Work on thinking of other things you can do that will help in the same way. For example, when you feel stressed out, what could you do instead of smoking? How about taking a time-out, get a drink of water, take a walk, or do some deep breathing.

Step 5: Get Support

The more support you have, the smoother the road to quitting will be. What kind of support is effective for you? Think of the people in your life. Who can support you during the process? Think of how they can help you and ask them for their support in specific ways.