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Thinking of Quitting Smoking?

If you are thinking of quitting smoking, keep in mind that quitting takes practice and requires changing old habits. Creating a customized, personal quit plan can help you stay smoke-free and can be used with other quit-smoking aids.

How do I create a "quit plan"?

  • Make an appointment at the Stop Smoking Clinic. The staff can help you come up with your own personal quit plan.
  • Set a quit date. Try to pick a date that is important to you and that you will remember in the near future.
  • Create smoke-free zones. Designate your entire home and car to be smoke-free.
  • Track your smoking behaviours. Before your quit date, keep track of when and where you smoke, what mood you were in, whom you smoke with and how many cigarettes you smoke. Once you have decided to quit, use this information to know what your triggers are.
  • Reduce the amount you smoke. Before your quit date, slowly cut down the amount of cigarettes you smoke.
  • Experiment with quitting. Give yourself a few days to try quitting so that you can recognize how you will feel when you do go smoke-free.
  • Plan to cope with withdrawal symptoms. Whether this may be going for a walk, talking with friends or chewing gum, ensure you plan to deal with your cravings.
  • Recruit support from friends and family to help you quit. Create a support network with those people that can help you quit smoking.
  • Obtain any necessary self-help guides, and resources that will help you quit smoking.

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What can I do to deal with cigarette "cravings"?

Because your body is used to getting nicotine, you will have cravings when trying to quit smoking.

  • Try to do other activities while you have these cravings or use stop-smoking aids such as nicotine gum, nicotine patch, nicotine inhaler, self-help resources and/or doctor prescribed Zyban ® . Reward yourself regularly. Make goals to cut down and reward yourself with things that are important to you once you have achieved them.
  • Use smoking substitutes (e.g., try chewing on straws, cloves, carrots, toothpicks or cinnamon sticks.)
  • Get back on track if you slip. Relapse may occur so do not get frustrated if it does. Make note of what made you slip, make changes to avoid this slip and try again. Remember, being a non-smoker is a learned behaviour.

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Tips While You Quit Smoking:

  • Drink Water. This will help to quickly flush the nicotine and other chemicals out of your system. Try using a straw that is the same size as a cigarette.
  • Breathe. Take 10 deep breaths instead of a cigarette break. Concentrate on breathing clean air.
  • Delay your first cigarette. The first cigarette of the morning is very difficult for most people to give up. Try to delay that first cigarette for 15 minutes the first day, 30 minutes the second day etc. Next, try to delay any cigarette.
  • Do something different. During the times that you normally smoke, try new activities such as going for a walk, washing dishes right after dinner or learn a new hobby (e.g., playing the piano.)
  • Make a list of why you want to quit and post it in a spot where it will remind you of this important decision.
  • Concentrate on what life will be like when you are smoke-free. You will be able to breathe easier, you will not smell of tobacco and your heart will be healthier.
  • Substitute your cigarette (e.g., try chewing on straws, cloves, carrots, toothpicks or cinnamon sticks.)
  • Call on your support network.
  • Review your self-help resources, make an appointment at the  Stop Smoking Clinic or call the smokers' HELPLINE 1-877-513-5333.

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What resources are available to help me quit smoking?

There are a number of resources in the community that can help you on your journey to quitting smoking:

  • Stop Smoking Clinic - The Health Department’s Stop Smoking Clinic provides personal counselling with a doctor and health care professional to help you be successful in quitting smoking. This service is free of charge, by appointment only.
  • Canadian Cancer Society Smokers' Helpline External Link 1 877 513-5333 (Monday - Thursday 8:00am - 9:00pm, Friday 8:00am - 6:00pm, Saturday and Sunday 9:00am - 5:00pm) A free, confidential, telephone-based service that provides personalized support, advice and information about quitting smoking. More information and support is also available at External Link .
  • Self-help guides and online resources - provide various tips to help you quit smoking
  • Medications - people who smoke may benefit from the nicotine patch, nicotine gum, nicotine inhaler, or Zyban ® .
  • Crush the Crave mobile app

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