You’ve decided to quit…now what?

1. Stick to Your Plan

Review all the factors that led you to quit in the first place. Think of your family/children/friends, all those who are invested in your new smoke free present and future. If you created a quit plan, revisit that. Keeping in mind all that has led you to this point will help you stay motivated, focused and confident on your quitting journey.

Remember: If using nicotine replacement therapy is right for you and it is a part of your quit plan, then be sure to start using it first thing in the morning.

2. Get Support

It takes a village to keep you smoke free. To help keep you away from cigarettes you can reach out for support in many different ways. The online community can offer many effective options for you when you are feeling alone and frazzled at the start of your quitting journey or you can reach out to your nearest and dearest.

  • Lean on your support people. Tell your family and friends about your quit day. Ask them for support, especially on your first few days and weeks of being smokefree. They can help you get through the rough spots.

  • Try a text message program. Sign up for SmokefreeTXT online or text QUIT to 47848. 

  • Download a smartphone app. Our free apps help you track cravings and understand your smoking patterns.

  • Visit Smokefree on social media. Grow your support network and stay connected.

  • Talk to an expert at a quitline. Call the National Cancer Institute Quitline at 1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848) Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. or find your state’s quitline by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).

  • Chat with a quit smoking counselor. LiveHelp is Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Eastern time. LiveHelp is also available in Spanish.

3. Keep moving

Keeping busy is a great way to stay smoke free on your quit day. Keeping moving and making sure you are busy will help you keep your mind off smoking and distract you from cravings. Think about trying some of these activities:

· Keep your hands busy with a pen or toothpick, or play a game in the QuitGuide app

· Lie on the floor with a pillow and relax with deep breathing.

· Spend time with non-smoking friends and family.

· Exercise.

· Call a friend for a chat.

· Walk on the beach/forest.

· Chew gum, nicotine gum or hard candy.

· Drink lots of water.

· Go to a movie.

· Go to dinner at a local restaurant.

4. Triggers can be avoided

Triggers are the people, places, things, and situations that make you feel as if you need a cigarette. On your first days and weeks of quitting, try to avoid your own personal smoking triggers.

Here are some tips to help you outsmart some common foibles:

· Throw away all your smoking paraphernalia…cigarettes, lighters, and ashtrays…and keep away from previous smoking spots.

· Get plenty of rest and eat healthily. Being tired can trigger you to smoke.

· Avoid caffeine, which can make you feel jittery. Try drinking herbal tea instead.

· Spend time with non-smokers.

· Go to a museum, art gallery or gym, places where smoking isn’t allowed.

· Change your routine to avoid the things you might associate with smoking.

5. Stay in the moment…

Quitting smoking is one of the hardest things you can do. It is even harder to think of the whole rest of your life being smoke free, but if you can cut it down to the next hour, and then the next day, or the next week being smoke free then you will eventually make it. Quitting happens one minute…one hour…one day at a time.

It helps to stay positive and to be gentle and kind to yourself, especially when you really feel like a cigarette or are feeling anxious and emotional on your quitting journey. It’s going to be a challenge , but all that matters is that you don’t smoke—not even one puff.

Reward yourself for being smoke free for 24 hours. You deserve it. Buy yourself a small treat and speak to yourself positively and with encouragement. And if you’re not feeling ready to quit today that’s okay, set a quit date that makes sense for you. It’s OK if you need a few more days to prepare to quit.