calendar quit smoking

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 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.

Never Miss a Beat!

Get Healthy Tips Sent to Your Phone!

Message and data rates may apply. Text STOP to opt out and HELP for help. Go to for privacy and terms.

Self Help Method

Self-help refers to quitting smoking without using a program. This is for people that 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 is when you set a date to stop smoking, continue to smoke regularly until your quit date, and then after that date you never smoke again. When choosing this method, you may or may not want professional support or to enroll in a quit smoking program.

Tapering Approach

Tapering is the gradual approach to your quit day. This means you would count the number of cigarettes you smoked 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.

About UPMC

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, UPMC is a world-renowned health care provider and insurer. We operate 40 hospitals and 700 doctors’ offices and outpatient centers, with locations in central and western Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, and internationally. We employ 4,900 physicians, and we are leaders in clinical care, groundbreaking research, and treatment breakthroughs. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside as one of the nation’s best hospitals in many specialties and ranks UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on its Honor Roll of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals.