How Can I Make a Plan to Quit Smoking?

Published: August 31, 2022
Barbara Young
By Barbara Young, PharmD

Congratulations on wanting to quit! Being successful takes a bit of preparation to develop a plan that works for you. Your pharmacist can be a great resource to help you quit smoking. Here are a pharmacist’s recommendations for creating a plan to quit smoking.

Set a date
Give yourself enough time to develop your plan, but not too much time so you change your mind. Also, try to pick a day that will not be a stressful one for you. For example, if Monday is always a stressful day because of the start of work, then don’t pick this day! Lastly, you will be more successful when you have support so tell your friends and family about your planned quit day and how they can support you! 

Think about your reasons for quitting
For some people, it is to look, feel, and be healthier. Quitting smoking can stop some of the damage smoking has done to your body, help you breathe easier, and improve your overall health.  For some, it is to improve their lifestyle. Quitting smoking can save you money, eliminate the smell of smoke from your clothes and hair and car and home, make food taste better, improve relationships with family and friends, and also improve the health of those around you.

Think about your triggers for smoking
For some people, quitting smoking can be hard because they are addicted to nicotine. There is a quiz available to tell you your level of addiction to nicotine.

But for others, it’s a habit that is hard to break. Some of these triggers may be emotional responses (such as when you are sad, angry, or stressed), or they can be part of a routine (such as when drinking coffee, waking up, hanging with friends, etc.). It’s important to understand why and when you choose to smoke and to come up with a plan to avoid or have a better approach to handle that trigger. 

Identify the best strategy to help you quit
For some people, it is medications to replace nicotine or to help with cravings. For others, it is signing up for a program that offers motivational support. But everyone should plan to throw away all of their cigarettes, lighters, and ashtrays, and plan to have gum, mints, candy, or salty snacks available when they get the urge to use a cigarette and plan to store them where they used to store their cigarettes.

Make a plan to deal with your cravings
This may include meditation or deep breathing, exercise, or using support systems.

Your pharmacist can be a great resource to help you quit smoking. Be sure to reach out to them if you have any questions about making a plan to quit smoking, smartphone apps that provide tips and motivational support, or medications to help you stop smoking.


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