Preparing to quit smoking can improve your chances of success. Use our guide to help you create the perfect, step-by-step quit smoking plan for your needs. From listing your reasons for quitting and choosing your quit day to preparing for the quit day itself, having a quit smoking plan will get you on the right path and help keep cravings under control.i
Learn more about how Nicorette products work to help improve your chances of quitting smoking by soothing the effects of nicotine withdrawal.
Create Your Quit Smoking Plan
Having a smoking cessation plan will pay off when quit day arrives – and all the better for ease of reference if you have it written down. Find a quiet place to work, stock up on pens and paper, and get planning for your quit day.
There are four stages to a successful plan to stop smoking:
- Reasons for quitting
- Choosing a quit day
- Preparing for quit day
- Quit day itself
Reasons for Quitting
List all your reasons for quitting. This is the most important element of your plan. Refer back to this list when you’re doubting yourself or experiencing intense cravings – it will provide the motivation you need when you’re struggling.
Examples of things you could include:
- Health – smoking raises your risk of diseases such as lung cancer, stroke and cardiovascular disease. Think about how smoking harms your health and how that impacts your quality of life.ii
- Wealth – calculate how much you spend on smoking per day, per week, per month, and over an entire year. What could you do with that extra money?
- Looks – smoking damages your looks, resulting in wrinkles, blotchy skin and a dull complexion. Quitting can improve how you look, boosting your confidence.iii
- Social life – being a smoker can mean having to avoid places that don’t allow smoking. Many people don’t like the smell of smoke on a person’s clothes or breath, either. Quitting smoking, then, could help improve your social life.
- Family – many people give up smoking for their family. They might want to set a good example for their kids, or ensure family members aren’t at risk of developing illnesses related to secondhand smoke inhalation.
- Memories of other smokers – if you knew someone who was a smoker and who died as a result of a smoking-related illness, that can be a powerful motivator.
Choosing a Quit Day
A good quit smoking plan starts on the right day. Avoid quitting when there’s a big event coming up where you might crave a cigarette, like work celebrations, weddings or a graduation ceremony. Choose a day when your schedule is flexible, for example at the weekend, so you can focus on distracting activities to keep your mind off withdrawal symptoms. If you don’t usually smoke during work hours, choose a work day to quit.
Preparing to Quit
Do Your Research
Understanding what kind of withdrawal symptoms to expect as you quit is important. Many people experience a cough after giving up smoking as your body expels the mucus that has built up in the lungs.iv Understanding how nicotine cravings work is also useful. Use Nicorette Gum and the MyQuit app to manage cravings and track your success.
Tell People About Your Plan to Quit
Telling people that you plan to quit smoking can help keep you accountable, so tell your friends and coworkers. You could even write the date of your quit day on your calendar so your family or roommates can help you stick to it.
Toss Any Reminders of Smoking
Throw out all smoking paraphernalia – lighters, rolling papers, etc. – before your quit day. Get rid of any temptations that could entice you to have ‘just one more’ cigarette.v
Invest in Distractions
Keeping your mouth and hands busy can help distract you from withdrawal symptoms. Buy a fidget spinner or use a stress ball. Some people find it helpful to taste or smell something when they are craving a cigarette. Try aromatic herbal teas, stock up on hard candies, or prepare your favorite vegetables and dip so you have something on hand to snack on when a craving strikes. When cravings hit hard, try Nicorette Gum or Nicorette Lozenges. Nicorette products can help you beat cigarette cravings and nicotine withdrawal during those tough moments in the day.*
*Individual results vary. More information about Nicorette.
Today’s the day your quit smoking plan can be put into action – and it’s time to celebrate! Make this day a big event – your quit journey is a positive step, and you should reward yourself for making this commitment to your health and wellbeing. Get yourself a treat such as a massage, or perhaps a new book or magazine if you’re looking for an inexpensive option.
Try to identify any trigger situations you might have (situations where you previously smoked most often, such as when stressed or while drinking your morning coffee). Create a plan to either avoid these situations entirely or get through them without smoking.v
Quitting isn’t the hardest part. The challenge is staying quit. Be prepared for feelings of failure and self-doubt, and intense cravings for a cigarette. If you start feeling this way, turn to your support network – friends, family or the MyQuit support community – to talk you through it. Keep a packet of Nicorette Lozenges or Nicorette Gum to hand, so that when the craving gets too intense, you can take control.
Find out more about Nicorette safety and side effects.