How to Make a Quit Smoking Plan
If you’re ready to quit smoking, congratulations! While it won’t be easy, you can look forward to numerous benefits over time once you have cut tobacco out of your life.
Quitting tobacco is tough, and it’s not uncommon for smokers to attempt to quit more than once. Plan ahead to boost your chances of success. Here are steps you can take to assemble a quit plan that’s right for you.
Write Down Your Reasons
Why do you want to quit? Take some time to think about your reasons and write them down.
Every smoker who tries to quit has their own reasons for doing so, but common motivators include improving health outcomes, protecting family from secondhand smoke, and saving money that would otherwise be spent on tobacco products.
If you’re not sure why you want to quit, the National Cancer Institute’s Smokefree.gov website recommends you ask yourself the following questions:
- What do I dislike about smoking?
- What do I miss out on when I smoke?
- How is smoking affecting my health?
- What will happen to me and my family if I keep smoking?
- How will my life get better when I quit?
Keep your list of reasons on hand to remind yourself what you’re working toward.
Pick a Quit Day
Once you’ve established your reasons for quitting, choose the day you will stop smoking.
It may never feel like the perfect time to quit, so plan ahead. A date two to four weeks away will give you enough time to plan without pushing your quit day too far into the future. Try to schedule around stressors you know about in advance, such as big social events or work projects.
Mark your chosen quit day on your calendar and then do your best to stick to it, no matter what.
Prepare to Curb Cravings
Once you stop smoking, you’re guaranteed to have cravings. Prepare for this in advance by taking note of your “ triggers,” or situations that make you want to smoke.
Identify your most common triggers and plan ahead for how you will manage them.
Do parties make you want to slip outside and smoke? Consider socializing elsewhere for the time being. Used to smoking on work breaks? Take a five-minute walk instead. If you smoke while you drive, keep gum or snacks in your car as a replacement for cigarettes.
Learn About Smoking Cessation Aids
Don’t wait until quit day to look into smoking cessation aids such as medication or nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).
Talk to your health care provider about which options may be right for you. You will need a prescription for certain NRT methods such as a nicotine inhaler or nasal spray. Or your doctor may opt to prescribe a non-nicotine medication to help with cravings.
Over-the-counter NRT options include nicotine patches, gum, or lozenges. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the options available, so talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you’re unsure.
Find Your Support System
Don’t go it alone!
Tell your friends and family about your plans to quit. Telling others can help keep you accountable but will also let them know they need to be ready to support you.
If you have a friend or co-worker who’s ready to quit as well, see if you can coordinate your quit day so you can check in regularly with someone who understands what you’re going through.
Tell your health care providers about your plan to quit so they can advise you appropriately.
Finally, don’t be afraid to contact a “quitline” if you need support. The S.C. Tobacco Quitline is a free telephone-based cessation service that is available 24/7 to all tobacco users. The quitline can provide one-on-one counseling, free nicotine patches, gum, or lozenges, and even help you develop a personalized quit plan.
How Hawthorne Can Help
We know you’ve got a lot on your plate. For peace of mind around your smoking cessation needs, partner with a local, patient-centered pharmacy like Hawthorne, where our friendly team of experts will always put you and your family first. We've got the knowledge and the inventory to keep you on track with your quit plan.
Transferring your prescriptions is easy, and we offer free local next-day delivery Monday through Friday. You can even order medication refills and communicate with our pharmacists through the RxLocal App!