How To Quit
It can be very hard to quit using tobacco products. Knowing that it will help improve the health of your children may help give you more motivation to quit and stay free from tobacco. There are many options out there to assist you in your quit efforts.
Note: Though the information below talks mostly about smoking, the information can be helpful for smokeless tobacco users as well.
Reasons to Quit
Take your pick! Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your loved ones. Your body will immediately notice the difference. Your blood pressure will return to more normal levels, and your sense of taste and smell will begin to improve. Your risk of diseases will decrease. Your clothes and home will smell better. You will save money. You will have accomplished a major goal that takes a lot of strength and effort to meet.
Whatever your reasons are to quit, write them down. Several times. Put those reasons around in places where you usually keep your tobacco products (next to the door where your cigarettes used to be, on the patio table where your can of dip was, in the pocket of your purse where you kept your lighter). When you reach for your tobacco products without thinking, you'll instead find your reasons to quit, and this will help you resist the urge.
There are pills, lozenges, patches, inhalers, and gum that may help you gradually decrease your tobacco use. Some people prefer to use these items to aid them in gradually becoming independent from tobacco. As several of these aids require a prescription, you may need to speak to your doctor.
Tips, Tricks, and Tools
No matter how tough quitting seems, remember that you are not the first to try it. Many other people have quit, and can offer insight and helpful advice to aid your efforts, including:
- National Cancer Institute
- American Legacy Foundation
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- American Cancer Society
Do-it-yourself Quit Plans
If you do not want to go to an in-person group, or that is not an option, you can use these online tools to help keep you on the path to quitting:
Some groups of people have a more difficult time quitting than others. There are quit resources created especially for these groups.
These communities will enable you to exchange thoughts, ideas, and encouragement with others who are trying to quit:
- 1-800-QUIT-NOW — a toll-free number that can be called anytime, from anywhere, to get help with staying quit.
- State-specific information from the American Academy of Pediatrics Julius B. Richmond Center of Excellence — Information about contacts within each state, including the state's tobacco control program, and a listing of county health departments which may be able to assist with in person cessation and support groups.
- Cessation Resources— The Tobacco Technical Assistance Consortium (TTAC) offers a listing of cessation resources through various organizations.
For anyone who would rather get their quit info via text message, SmokefreeTXT sends six weeks of quit texts to the person's cell phone. While the program was designed for teenagers, it can be helpful to anyone, as messages are sent in a convenient format and the program can be accessed any time.
Approaching a Smoker About How Their Smoking May Hurt You or Your Family
- Smoke-free Homes and Cars — Information for Non-Smokers
This brochure will give you facts to share with your smoker about how dangerous smoking really is. There is also information in the brochure about how to work together to keep everyone healthy.
- Advice From Health Care Workers on How To Talk to Smokers
Nagging or guilting someone who smokes will not help the situation. This article explains how to use concepts doctors use in dealing with smokers, and gives advice on how to personalize the message for your smoker.
- CDC E-Cards on Smoking
If you are too worried to speak to your smoker in person, try to bring the topic up with one of these e-cards made by the CDC. It may get the person thinking about their smoking, which may lead to a less stressful conversation later.
Is Your Smoker Ready to Quit? Ways YOU Can Help
If you or the smoker(s) in the household cannot quit, have a conversation about where the smoking can occur. Know that smoking anywhere indoors, even near a window, with the door shut, or with a fan on, can move smoke all over the house and make others sick. Think of it this way — if someone is cooking bacon downstairs, you can smell it, right? Smoke is the same way, even if you can't smell it. Smoke travels through walls, plumbing, electrical pathways, and ducts.
Cars are the same way. Smoking with the windows down does not keep anyone fully protected from the chemicals in the smoke. Plus, with the wind resistance, ash can fly backward through the open window and onto passengers.
Work together to create no-smoking rules in your home and cars. This will keep everyone healthier and safer — did you know that cigarettes are often the cause of household fires?