Friday, April 3, 2009

Tips and Resources for Quitting Smoking

The single largest cigarette tax hike in US history went into effect last Wednesday (Source: FoxNews). Are you thinking of quitting due to the new tax? Here are some tips and things to consider:

1. Speak with your doctor
Cold turkey is not the only option. There are many smoking cessation treatments available. Your doctor should be able to go through all the options, give advice on which would provide the most success rate, and help you develop a plan.

2. Investigate State programs
Check out this site: 1-800-QuitNow. Click on the link for Find Services in your area. There you can select and then explore services in your state. Here are a few of the state programs:
  • Michigan: Offers free smoking cessation counseling and free nicotine patches and gum to the uninsured. Also offers free literature on negative effects of smoking.
  • California: Offers a free hotline that offers services such as self help material, referral list to other programs, and one-on-one counseling.
  • Washington: All Washington residents are eligible for free coaching and a supply of nicotine patches or gum from the Washington State Tobacco Quit Line .

Programs vary by state, are subject to change, and restrictions apply so be sure to examine the information for your state.

3. Investigate Insurance and Employer programs.
Many insurance companies offer smoking cessation programs for free to their members. Either call or visit your insurance company website for more details. And recently, many companies started offering smoking cessation programs as an employee benefit. Check with your human resources department to see if your employer has a program to help you quit.

4. Get others around you to quit
Does someone else in your household, a friend, or family member smoke? Try to get them to quit smoking at the same time. If they won't, ask them to smoke away from you and outside of your home.

5. Avoid social settings that tempt you to smoke
You should avoid bars, bowling alleys, and other places that are likely to tempt you to smoke.

6. Develop new habits
People smoke for different reasons. Boredom, out of habit, stress, etc. You'll need to develop different habits. So if you're used taking a smoke break at work, try going for a walk. If you're used to smoking after dinner, try calling a friend, exercising, playing a game, etc.

7. Plan for cravings
Cravings can be bad. They last for a couple minutes but they can feel like so much longer than that. Before you quit, develop a plan to address craving. Some activities to consider: exercise, walk, journal, call a friend, listen to music, chew on gum, hard candy, carrot sticks, or celery sticks. Some people develop a list of reasons why they want to quit then review it when cravings come on.

8. Tell others you plan to quit
Develop a support system to help you quit by telling family, friends, co-workers, etc you plan to quit. Irritability and cravings are common complaints for the first couple of days. Having a support system will help you get through it.

9. Celebrate your achievements
Quitting is difficult, so be sure to celebrate your achievements. Put the money you were spending on cigarettes aside. On milestone days, like 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, use the money to buy yourself a reward for your efforts.

10. Never stop trying
As the saying goes, if you fall, pick yourself up and keep going. The same applies here. If you smoke a cigarette when trying to quit, don't stop trying. Make it a lesson learned and continue your efforts.

*Information on is for informational purposes only. Always seek medical advice from your physican.


  1. Thanks for these tips! Speaking to your doctor is a must becasue he/she will pester you.

  2. Quitting smoking is not an easy task but if it is done by heart it become easy. So just plan and do.

  3. Hi,

    Thanks for your post. Because smoking is an addiction it has both physical and psychological attachments. While there is physical addiction to smoking the body usually overcomes its addictive feelings within the first 3 days of quitting smoking. After that the rest of the hurdle to stopping smoking is psychological.

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