10 Steps to Quit Smoking


1. Prepare yourself for quitting. To convince yourself that you want to quit, make a list of all of the reasons why you should.

2. Set a date. Make the date a reality. Mark it on your calendar at home and at work. Tell it to your family and friends. Don’t change it for any reason.

3. Begin to condition yourself physically a few weeks before. Start an exercise program. Drink more fluids. Get plenty of sleep. Improve your diet by reducing the amount of fat and sugar you eat. 

4. Make smoking inconvenient. Only buy cigarettes by the pack. Stop buying them by the carton. Don’t buy a new pack until the old one is empty. Don’t carry cigarettes around with you.

5. Find new ways to relax. Learn one or two stress reduction techniques before you quit.

6. On the day you quit: Throw away all of your cigarettes and matches. Go to the dentist and have your teeth cleaned. Keep very busy: go to the movies, take long walks, or exercise. Ask your friends and family to help you if the going gets tough. Buy yourself a treat or do something special for yourself to celebrate your quit date.

7. Immediately after you quit: Make your home and work a fresh, clean, nonsmoking environment. Have your clothes and carpet cleaned. Drink lots of water and juice. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.

8. Avoid temptation. For the first month after you quit, participate in lots of outdoor activities. Visit museums, libraries, theaters, and public places where smoking isn’t allowed.

9. Find new habits. If you miss having something in your hand, play with a pencil or marble.

10. Get help when you need it. Ask your doctor about treatments that might help you, such as medication or nicotine patches.

If you fail in your attempt to quit, don’t give up. Smokers who quit for good make an average of four serious attempts before they’re successful. The more unsuccessful attempts you make, the more likely that the next time will work.