6 Steps to Quit Smoking

Cigarette on a calendar for quitting

Step 1: Have a Plan

Once you’ve made up your mind to quit smoking and set the date, develop a plan. There are free tools online at smokefree.gov and a toll-free number, 1-800-QUIT-NOW, to help you succeed. Download an app to track your progress.

woman holding up help sign

Step 2: Don't Go It Alone

It will be easier to quit smoking if you have support from family and friends. Let them know you’ve decided to quit, ask for their support, and tell them specifically what they can do to help. Spend time with people who want you to succeed. Talk to friends who have quit and ask for their advice.

woman putting piece of gum in her mouth

Step 3: Stay Busy

Replace your smoking habit with a healthy habit like exercise. Make plans for dinner or a movie with non-smoking friends. Instead of smoking, chew sugarless gum — it keeps your mouth busy and helps prevent cavities, too.

coffee and alcohol and cigarette together

Step 4: Avoid Smoking Triggers

Stay away from people, places and things that tempt you to smoke. Some common triggers include stress, alcohol, coffee, and hanging out with people who smoke. Throw out cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays, and go to places where smoking isn’t allowed.


Step 5: Accept No Substitutes

Turning to other tobacco products like e-cigarettes won’t help you stop smoking. Smokers who used e-cigarettes to help them quit were 59% less likely to stop than those who didn't. There are also no regulations on how many contaminants they can contain, and more studies are needed to see how they affect your dental and overall health. Hookahs are also hazardous. One session is the same as smoking 100 cigarettes. Need something to help you quit? Talk to your dentist or doctor about safe and effective options.
woman smiling and relaxing

Step 5: Reward Your Accomplishments

Quitting is hard. And, every hour or day you go without a cigarette is an achievement. Take it hour by hour, and reward yourself for small successes. With all the money you save on cigarettes, you can treat yourself to a stress-relieving massage or a pedicure!