Congratulations! You’ve decided to quit smoking!
While this is a great start to a healthier lifestyle and dropping a bad habit, there is no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to choosing your quit method. It is important to choose a plan that best fits your personality and lifestyle. Depending upon how long you’ve been smoking, why you crave cigarettes, or a variety of other factors, one quit method may be more successful for you than it may be for another person.
All of these methods have a common beginning – choosing a day to start. This day marks the last day you begin to stop smoking and many refer to it as “the first day of the rest of my life.” Some people like to choose a special day such as a birthday or holiday, while others choose the weekend versus a weekday. It is most important to pick a day that you will have the least amount of stress.
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Self-help refers to quitting smoking without using a program. This method is for people who prefer to do things by themselves. You may decide to read books, look up information on the internet, or ask family and friends for help.
Cold Turkey Quit Method
Most people are familiar with the “cold turkey” quit method. This method allows you to set a date to stop smoking, continue to smoke regularly until your quit date, and then after that date never smoke again. When choosing this method, you may or may not want professional support or to enroll in a quit smoking program.
Tapering is the gradual approach to your quit day. This method enables you to count the number of cigarettes you smoke each day and make a plan to reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke each day until your quit day. Once you reach your quit day, you would not smoke anymore.
Smoking Cessation Program
When deciding to quit cold turkey or use the tapering method, consider seeking professional support or enrolling in a quit smoking program. Family and friends are also great to have as a support system. Once you have chosen your quit date and method, you are ready to start your journey!
For a more extensive list of quit method options, check out our Journey to a Smoke-Free Life booklet online. You can also enroll in a Smoking Cessation program at many of our UPMC facilities.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on , and was last reviewed on .
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