If you are thinking about quitting, you have taken the first step in doing yourself a huge favor. Quitting is the most important thing you can do for your health, and the sooner you quit, the sooner you reverse the damaging effects of tobacco.
As a smoker, it is important to understand that quitting is a process. Changing stubborn behaviors and addictions, such as smoking or chewing tobacco, is often described as occurring in five steps. Where are you in the process of change?
You know how many ways quitting tobacco will benefit your health, your family, your wallet, and your everyday life. The next step is having a plan. Planning well and knowing what to expect are of enormous importance on the road to success.
When you plan your strategy for quitting tobacco, use the U.S. Surgeon General’s Five Keys to Quitting.
It is a common myth that quitting should be avoided until depression, anxiety, alcohol, or other drug addictions are fully treated. In fact, treatment for nicotine-dependence treatment should be incorporated into the treatment for these other conditions. Visit our Behavioral Health section for more information.
Support from family, friends, and co-workers is key to your quitting success. Identify those who will be supportive in your quit attempt and ask for their help. You can also contact your local health care provider for support tips or find a local support group in your area.
It’s normal to feel afraid of quitting and even more afraid of failing. But trying to quit means you are learning – not failing. Many people try to quit several times before they are tobacco-free. If you don’t quit for good on your first try, it’s an opportunity to learn from past attempts so you can reach your goal.
So just try it – every attempt you make means you are closer to your ultimate success at being tobacco-free.