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Smoking, 5 Steps to Quit

Cigarette and calendar

The American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout is on the third Thursday of every November. If you’ve been planning to quit smoking, it’s a great day to kick off or start developing your quit plan. Here are 5 steps to quitting from smokefree.gov.

Smokefree.gov is a website by the National Cancer Institute that provides free, accurate and evidence-based information and professional assistance to help you quit smoking.

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.

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.

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.

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:  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!