Tips to create a "quit plan"
Before you quit:
- Visit the Stop Smoking Clinic or Health Connect Ontario (external link) (1-866-797-0000): The staff can help you come up with your own personal quit plan.
- Set a quit date: Pick a date in the near future that is important to you and that you will remember.
- Create smoke-free zones: Start by designating your entire home and car to be smoke-free.
- Track your smoking behaviours: You can use this information to know what your triggers are. Before your quit date, keep track of:
- when and where you smoke.
- what mood you were in.
- who you smoke with.
- how many cigarettes you smoke per day.
- Cut down: Before your quit date, slowly reduce the amount of cigarettes you smoke per day.
- Experiment with quitting: Try quitting for a day so that you can recognize how you will feel when you do go smoke-free.
- Plan to cope with withdrawal symptoms: Take a walk, talk with friends or chew gum - make sure you have a plan to deal with your cravings.
- Recruit support from friends and family: Create a support network with people that can help you quit smoking.
- Get self-help guides and resources: These support materials can help you quit smoking.
How do I deal with cravings?
Because your body is used to getting nicotine, you will have cravings when you first quit smoking. Here are a few tricks to manage them:
- Follow the 4 Ds
- Drink lots of water. This will help to flush the nicotine and other chemicals out of your system.
- Deep Breaths. Take 10 deep breaths instead of a cigarette break. Focus on breathing clean air.
- Do something else. During the times that you normally smoke, try new activities. For example, go for a walk or wash the dishes right after dinner.
- Delay the urge to smoke. The first cigarette of the morning is very difficult for most people to give up. Try to delay it for 15 minutes the first day, 30 minutes the second day, etc. Next, try to delay all cigarettes.
- Use stop-smoking aids, such as nicotine gum, nicotine patch, nicotine inhaler, nicotine mist, nicotine lozenge, self-help resources and/or doctor prescribed Zyban® or Champix®.
- Reward yourself regularly. Make goals to cut down and reward yourself when you achieve them.
- Use smoking substitutes, such as cloves, carrots, toothpicks, cinnamon sticks or orange pieces.
- Get back on track if you slip. Relapse may occur. Remember, being a non-smoker is a learned behaviour. Do not get frustrated. Instead:
- Make note of what made you slip.
- Make changes to avoid this slip in the future.
- Call on your support network.
- Review your self-help resources.
- Visit the Stop Smoking Clinic.
- Call Health Connect Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.
- Don't quit quitting.
What resources exist to help me quit?
There are a number of resources in the community that can help you quit smoking.
Self-help guides and online resources.