Unlock a Life
Without Tobacco

Quitting is a very personal experience; what worked for others may or may not work for you. However, the more you know about how to quit, the better your chances of success.1

Use the keys below to learn about your options, personalize your path to quitting, and get expert support anytime along the way.
White male, a former tobacco user, sitting on the couch looking out the window
Key 1

Get Ready

Plan and prepare—that's the first key to quitting tobacco successfully. You Can Do It!

  • Choose a specific quit date

  • Think about all the ways quitting will improve your life and health

  • Get rid of temptations

  • Think about what you learned from past attempts to quit

Quitter Stories

Antonio S., a former tobacco user, shares his quitting story
Carter S., a former tobacco user, shares his quitting story

Quit Prep Resources

List Icon
Text Messaging Programs
Smokefree.gov Practice Quitting Programs
  • Learn quitting skills and Daily Challenges
  • Build confidents and skills to avoid tobacco
laptop Icon Phone Icon smart-phone Icon Users Icon
Smartphone Apps

Smokefree.gov

Download 24/7 digital support personalized to your smoking patterns, moods, motivation, and goals.
laptop Icon
Online Help
Become an Ex
  • Learn what to expect on your Quit Day
  • Understand and prepare for nicotine withdrawal
laptop Icon
Nicotine Addiction Quiz
Smokefree.gov

Understand and prepare for nicotine withdrawal
  • Take the Quiz: How strong is your Nicotine addiction?
Key 2

Get Support and Encouragement

You are not alone in your efforts to quit. Research shows your odds are better if you get support from others.2

  • Talk to friends, family, and coworkers about why you want to quit and how important it is to you

  • Ask them to keep tobacco out of sight

  • Get expert help. Ask a doctor, psychologist, or other health professional for advice or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW1-800-Quit-Now for free telephone counseling and quitting information

Quitter Stories

Janeil D., a former tobacco user, shares her quitting story

Support Resources

laptop Icon
Online
Become an Ex
  • Learn how to build a quit-support network
  • Join an online community of quitters
  • Utilize your network to proactively prevent a relapse
  • Join smoke-free communities on your favorite social platform
Phone Icon
Call
State Quitlines

Access free quit counseling at 1-800-QUIT-NOW1-800-Quit-Now
Laptop Icon
Chat
National Cancer Institute

Chat with a Quit Counselor
Key 3

Learn New Skills and Behaviors

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.

  • Plan ways to distract yourself from urges

  • Have other things nearby to hold in your hands or put in your mouth

  • Look for fun activities that don’t include tobacco

  • Be prepared to manage withdrawal symptoms

Quitter Stories

Judy W., a former tobacco user, shares her quitting story

Behavior Change Resources

laptop Icon
Online
Become an Ex
  • Discover tobacco-free ways to relieve stress
laptop Icon Phone Icon smart-phone Icon Users Icon
Smokefree.gov
  • Learn how physical activity can help you quit smoking
  • Use mindfulness to cope with stress and triggers
  • Win the war against increased appetite and weight gain
Key 4

Get Medication and Use it Correctly

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 medications to help people quit smoking. Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) medications provide small, steady doses of nicotine to help stop cravings and relieve symptoms people might experience while trying to quit smoking. Some NRTs are available without a prescription, including gums, inhalers, nasal sprays, lozenges, and patches. 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-NOW1-800-QUIT-NOW to learn more. Some medications may also be covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

Be sure to speak to your health care provider or pharmacist about how medication can help you in your efforts to quit.

Quitter Stories

Neal S., a former tobacco user, shares his quitting story

Cessation Resources

laptop Icon
Become An Ex
  • Listen to an expert explain tobacco cessation medication and myths
  • Choose a medical cessation aid
laptop Icon Phone Icon List Icon
Review NRT Options
Visit smokegree.gov to explore different methods for quitting, based on effectiveness, and to review different NRT options.
Phone Icon
State Quitlines
Ask about financial support for quitting medications at 1-800-Quit-Now.1-800-Quit-Now.
Key 5

Be Prepared for Relapse or Difficult Situations

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.

  • Find new ways to handle stress or calm your nerves

  • If you do slip, don't beat yourself up, and don't give up – learn from it

  • Limit or monitor your use of triggers like coffee and alcohol

  • Eat healthy foods and get some exercise to help manage your weight and mood

  • Remind yourself of the benefits of quitting

Quitter Stories

Monica R., a former tobacco user, shares her quitting story

Slip and Relapse Resources

laptop Icon
Become an Ex
Watch out for relapse warning signs
laptop Icon Phone Icon smart-phone Icon Users Icon
Smokefree.gov
  • Tips for slips
  • Update your Quit Plan
laptop Icon
Text Messaging Programs
Smokefree.gov Practice Quit
  • Rebuild confidence in your quitting skills through daily challenges
laptop Icon Phone Icon smart-phone Icon Users Icon
Smartphone Apps
Smokefree.gov
  • Adjust your needs, motivation, and goals in the free apps that offer personalized, digital support – 24/7
laptop Icon Phone Icon
Call or Chat Online
Smokefree.gov
  • Talk to an expert about how to get back on track
  • Explore all live support options
Foot notes

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).

African American male smiling

Quitting Resources

Whether you’re just starting your quitting journey, working to stay a quitter, renewing your commitment, or helping a loved one, QuitAssist resources are here to help at every stage.