Plan and prepare—that's the first key to quitting tobacco successfully.
You Can Do It!
You are not alone in your efforts to quit. Research shows your odds are better if you get support from others.2
You may not think of quitting tobacco as a skill, but in some ways, it's like riding a bike. You figure out how to move forward, keep your balance, and get where you want to go. And if you should fall, you can get up and keep on going.
For many people, medication can be the key to quitting smoking. Using medication can greatly increase your chances of quitting for good.3
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several medications to help people quit smoking. Some are available without a prescription and provide small amounts of nicotine to help you manage withdrawal symptoms and urges. Other medications must be prescribed by a doctor.
Many state telephone quitlines offer free or reduced-price medications to eligible callers - call 1-800-QUIT-NOW to learn more. Some medications may also be covered by Medicare or Medicaid.
For most people, quitting is not the biggest challenge; it's staying quit. The greatest risk for relapse is in the first three months after quitting, so be prepared to handle difficult situations and to recover if you slip.
1 Dunston A, August 2003. Kicking Butts in the Twenty-First Century: What modern science has learned about smoking cessation, New York: American Council on Science and Health, p.8.
2 Murray RP, Johnston JJ, Dolce JJ et al: Social support for smoking cessation and abstinence: The Lung Health Study. Addictive Behaviors, vol. 20, 1995, p. 159-170. cf., Creswell KG, Cheng Y, Levine MD: A test of the stress-buffering model of social support in smoking cessation: Is the relationship between social support and time to relapse mediated by reduced withdrawal symptoms? Nicotine Tobacco Research, Vol. 17, Issue 5, 2015, p. 566-71.
3 Fiore MC, Jaen CR, Baker TB, et al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence:2008 Update. Clinical Practice Guideline. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service. May 2008.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advises the use of effective quit smoking medications, except when medically contraindicated or with specific populations for which there is insufficient evidence of effectiveness (i.e., pregnant women, smokeless tobacco users, light smokers and adolescents).