Smoking Cessation

Want to quit smoking? These resources can help you do it successfully.

Stages of Quitting

Quitting smoking can be hard. But you can do it. Whether you are just thinking about quitting or are ready to go for it, the information in the Tobacco Users section of No Butts will help you reach your goal.

Getting Ready to Quit

Planning to Quit

Taking Control

Staying in Control

5 Common Questions about Quitting Smoking

The last time I tried to quit smoking, I failed. How do I keep trying if I keep failing?

Most people try a number of times before they quit for good. So it’s important to keep trying. Every quit attempt is a success, no matter how long it lasts. What worked and what didn’t work? There’s a lot to learn from each time you try. Keep in mind that you never fail unless you stop trying.

Should I use the patches or some other quitting aid?

Quitting aids do help people quit. The most common ones are nicotine patches, gum & lozenges. Some people also use medication like Zyban® and Chantix®. And some people still quit cold turkey, without any quitting aids. In any case, it’s a personal choice. Your doctor can help you decide too. For more information about quitting aids click here.

Will cutting down help me to quit?

It could help, as long as you plan to quit totally. Cutting down may be a good way to practice quitting and to feel more confident. If you want to quit for good though, set a quit date and stick to it.

What about electronic cigarettes?

At this time, they are not approved as a quitting aid. But some smokers say that e-cigarettes have helped them quit. More research is needed to show if e-cigarettes are safe and effective.

How will I feel when I quit?

Quitting smoking can feel a little different for each person. But here are some things you may notice:

  • A hard time being around smokers
  • Good days and bad days
  • Withdrawal symptoms, such as being annoyed
  • Breathing easier
  • Things that challenge your motivation to keep going
  • Cravings that are strong at first, but weaker with time
  • A growing sense of success

Quitting Aids

One part of helping is learning about quitting aids. This chart shows the most common ones.

Quitting AidHow To Use ItWhere To Get it
Nicotine patchStick to skin on upper body. Follow directions carefully.Over the counter at drugstores, grocery stores, discount stores, or by prescription.
Nicotine gumChew briefly. Then place it between cheek and gum. Follow directions carefully.Over the counter at drugstores, grocery stores, discount stores, or by prescription.
Nicotine inhaler or nasal sprayInhaler: inhale through mouth.
Spray: spray into the nose. Follow directions carefully.
Pharmacy (prescription only).
Nicotine lozengesDissolve in mouth slowly, one at a time. Follow directions carefully.Over the counter at drugstores, grocery stores, discount stores, or by prescription.
Prescription pills (Zyban, Chantix)Take pill prescribed by doctor. Start 1-2 weeks before quitting smoking.Pharmacy (prescription only).

Check with your doctor or healthcare provider before starting any quitting aids.

Programs and Other Resources

American Lung Association

Freedom From Smoking logo1-800-LUNG-USA

Freedom From Smoking® Online, or FFS Online, is a program specifically designed for adults, like you, who want to quit smoking. It’s an adaptation of the American Lung Association’s gold standard, group clinic that has helped thousands of smokers to quit for good.

Department of Veteran Affairs

Department of Veteran Affairs logo1-877-222-8387

It’s been said before but it’s true—you can quit smoking. And, we want to be there when you do. Talk to your provider about how VA can help.

Become An Ex

Become an EX

Sponsored by the national non-profit American Legacy Foundation in partnership with the Mayo Clinic, helps smokers “re-learn life without cigarettes” through a plan based on scientific research and practical advice from ex-smokers.

Android Apps

icon: Quit smoking - QuitNow!Quit smoking – QuitNow! (Free)
Offers real-time stats about last cigarette smoked, amount of cigarettes avoided, and money saved.

icon: Breathe - Quit Smoking LITEBreathe – Quit Smoking LITE (Free)
Includes a community system for support from other quitters. Offers real-time display of money and time saved.

icon: Quit Smoking Cessation NationQuit Smoking: Cessation Nation (Free)
Allows for support from over 17 million people who are also trying to quit. Informs you of health improvements and offers games to distract from cravings.

icon: Get Rich or Die SmokingGet Rich or Die Smoking (Free)
Includes a sophisticated rewards system and a community to chat with other quitters.

icon: Time To Quit SmokeTime To Quit Smoke (Free)
Informs you of how much time has passed since your last cigarette, how much money was saved, and allows for customized widget display on desktop for convenient achievement display.

iOS Apps

icon: LIVESTRONG MyQuit CoachLIVESTRONG MyQuit Coach (Free)
Provides help for quitting cold turkey or gradually decreasing nicotine intake, guidance for setting attainable goals, and connection to Facebook and Twitter for motivation from family and friends.

icon: Quit It Lite - stop smoking todayQuit It Lite (Free)
Keeps track of cigarettes not smoked and money saved. Allows you to receive text messages about the benefits of quitting.

icon: My Last Cigarette - Stop Smoking Stay QuitMy Last Cigarette ($0.99)
Provides daily motivational quote or medical advice, anticipates cravings, and informs you of decreased risk of lung cancer and heart attack, as well as increased life expectancy.

icon: UCSF:SFGH Stop SmokingUCSF/SFGH Stop Smoking ($0.99)
Tracks your mood and offers ideas of healthier alternatives to smoking and teaches about how mood influences smoking. Sales of this app support research for solutions to smoking. Also available in Spanish.

icon: QuitterQuitter (Free)
Focuses on last cigarette smoked and money saved. Connects with social media to allow for support and provide inspiration to others.

Windows Apps

icon: KickSmokingKickSmoking (Free)
Focuses on helping you resist cravings and keeping track of health benefits of quitting. Provides a craving timer and records the number of cravings resisted.

icon: Quit SmokingQuit Smoking (Free)
Includes check of current health status, timeline for quitting, and tips to avoid smoking.

icon: Smoke FreeSmoke Free (Free)
Provides reminders for time passed since last cigarette and tracks the length of cravings.

icon: QuitsQuits (Free)
Offers help for quitting any bad habit. Keeps track of how many days since last cigarette and amount of money saved.

Additional Resources

Last updated May 2016