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.
- See Staying in Control to make sure you are ready for the top 3 triggers over time.
- Learn about keeping weight in check while quitting in the Weight Gain section.
- Understand the difference between Slips and Relapses.
- Keep Trying. It usually takes many tries before someone quits for good.
- Think of yourself as a nonsmoker. In the A Nonsmoker for Life section you will see just how to do this.
- Consider a few Final Thoughts as you start your life as a nonsmoker.
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
For more information
One part of helping is learning about quitting aids. This chart shows the most common ones.
|Quitting Aid||How To Use It||Where To Get it|
|Nicotine patch||Stick to skin on upper body. Follow directions carefully.||Over the counter at drugstores, grocery stores, discount stores, or by prescription.|
|Nicotine gum||Chew 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 spray||Inhaler: inhale through mouth.|
Spray: spray into the nose. Follow directions carefully.
|Pharmacy (prescription only).|
|Nicotine lozenges||Dissolve 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.
Provides support on campus, information on smoking cessation, quit kits, and referrals to help in the community. Located behind the counseling department.
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.
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.
Quit smoking – QuitNow! (Free)
Offers real-time stats about last cigarette smoked, amount of cigarettes avoided, and money saved.
Breathe – Quit Smoking LITE (Free)
Includes a community system for support from other quitters. Offers real-time display of money and time saved.
Quit 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.
Get Rich or Die Smoking (Free)
Includes a sophisticated rewards system and a community to chat with other quitters.
Time 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.
LIVESTRONG 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.
Quit It Lite (Free)
Keeps track of cigarettes not smoked and money saved. Allows you to receive text messages about the benefits of quitting.
My 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.
UCSF/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.
Focuses on last cigarette smoked and money saved. Connects with social media to allow for support and provide inspiration to others.
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.
Quit Smoking (Free)
Includes check of current health status, timeline for quitting, and tips to avoid smoking.
Last updated May 2016