Preparing to Quit Smoking

You are a smoker who wants to quit…Are you ready to take this next step to becoming smoke-free? Are you going to make a commitment to quit smoking? Even though you might be eager to quit smoking, it’s important to prepare yourself.

Are you ready to take this next step to becoming smoke-free? Are you going to make a commitment to quit smoking? Even though you might be eager to quit smoking, it’s important to prepare yourself.

Here are 5 things you can do to help you prepare to quit smoking and build a quit plan made just for you.

Tip 1: List your triggers.

There are probably a few people, places and things that can cause you to want a cigarette. Think of all the situations where you might have a hard time resisting the urge. It would be great if you could avoid them, but chances are you won’t be able to hide from them all. It is important for you to plan for those situations and think about ways that you can cope with these triggers.

Here is an example to help get you started:

  • Trigger: Drinking my morning coffee.
  • How I’ll cope: Have juice instead and only drink coffee after lunch.

We can often be our own worst enemy. Practise positive self-talk every day. Do it in front of a mirror if you need to. Don’t worry – no one will see you.

Tip 2: Practise positive self-talk.

If you feel confident about your own ability to quit smoking, it will be easier to quit. Without that confidence, just one instant or one situation might be enough for you to give in to temptation.

Negative self-talk can hurt your chances of staying smoke-free. For example, when faced with a tempting situation, you might think, “One little cigarette won’t hurt” or “I know I shouldn’t smoke, but I don’t think I have what it takes to quit.” It’s important to be aware of negative thoughts and plan for how to replace them with positive ones. A great way to build your confidence and increase your chances of becoming smoke-free is through positive self-talk.

Here are some examples of positive thoughts:

  • “I don’t need this cigarette right now.”
  • “I will not let anyone stop me from quitting. I can’t change what others think or say. I can only change what I think and do.”
  • “I really don’t need a cigarette to have a good time at a party.”

Don’t be afraid to tell your supports what you need. They may feel more involved in your journey to quit if you ask them to help you with something specific.

Tip 3: Build your support system.

It’s time to build your support network. Who are the people you can count on to support you? We’re talking about the person you can call at 2 a.m. when you’re out with friends and have a huge craving for a cigarette, or the friend you can text first thing every day to distract you from having that morning cigarette. Let these people know about your quit plan and explain to them how they fit in and what you need from them. Also consider joining an online community, which has the added benefit of being available 24/7.

Don’t forget that your nurse, pharmacist or other healthcare provider, your quit coach or your Employee Assistance Program can also be great allies.

Tip 4: Write down your reasons for quitting.

You likely have great reasons for wanting to quit smoking. Perhaps you’ve decided you want to be healthier, maybe you want to save money, or maybe you’re motivated to quit for your children or your partner.

List your top 4 reasons for quitting, then tear off the sheet and put it up somewhere where you can see it every day. Or put it in your purse or wallet, or add the reasons in your smartphone, so that no matter where you are, you can pull it out to help you get through a craving or just act as a reminder during those tough days.

Tip 5: Set a quit date.

Think about what’s coming up over the next 30 days and pick a day to quit smoking. There may never be a perfect day to quit, but here are some things that might help you choose your date:

  • Pick a day when your schedule is routine and nothing new is happening.
  • Avoid dates where you have a deadline or something else that might distract you or give you additional stress.
  • Make this your day for this task, so avoid other important dates like birthdays or anniversaries.
  • If you’re a woman, avoid dates that are just before the beginning of your menstrual cycle.

Share your date with your friends and family! Post it on Facebook or Twitter or send an email to let everyone know that you have taken this great step toward being smoke-free.

Courtesy of FSEAP.   Access online resources at and view the following site for related online resources and self-directed quit programs