Health Topics

You, Too, Can Become an Ex-Smoker

Countdown to Quitting

If you feel emotionally and mentally prepared to quit smoking — and you're quitting for yourself, and not to please someone else — you'll be taking a giant step toward healthy living.

Experts from Cleveland Clinic's Tobacco Treatment Center say there is no one "right way" to stop smoking or chewing tobacco; the right way is whatever works for you. But before you crumple up your last cigarette pack, plan ahead.

How to Quit

There are many proven methods for successfully kicking a nicotine habit. View the listing below so you can become a former smoker now:

  • Pick a date to stop smoking and then stick to it!
  • Make a list of your reasons for quitting and read it every day, before and after you quit. Consider health reasons as well as social reasons.
  • Write down when you smoke, why you smoke and what you are doing when you smoke to learn your "triggers."
  • Make a list of the activities you can do instead when you face one of your smoking triggers.
  • Experiment by going without "a smoke" in certain situations, ie. after lunch or after dinner, before you quit for good.
  • Visualize yourself as a non-smoker. See yourself climbing stairs effortlessly or jogging easily. Notice lines disappearing from your skin.
  • Share your plans to quit with friends and family, and invite those who smoke to join you. Quitting together is easier!
  • Ask your healthcare provider about smoking cessation aids. They really help some people "over the hump." Choices include nicotine replacement gum, patches, inhalers, sublingual (under-the-tongue) tablets, lozenges or nasal spray and prescription medications.
  • Sign up for a smoking cessation support group or program.