Quit Smoking

The Basics
Quit smoking to live a longer, healthier life.

Take Action!
Circle your quit date on the calendar.

Start Today: Small Steps

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The Basics

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Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do for your health. The sooner you quit, the sooner your body can start to heal. You will feel better and have more energy to be active with your family and friends.

Smoking hurts almost every part of the body.

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States.

Smoking causes:

Learn more about how smoking affects different parts of the body.

Smoking hurts other people, too.

Secondhand smoke is a mix of the smoke that comes from your cigarette and the smoke that you breathe out. Secondhand smoke is dangerous and can cause health problems for the people around you.

In babies and children, breathing in secondhand smoke can cause:

In adults, breathing in secondhand smoke can cause:

You can quit smoking.

Quitting smoking is hard, but millions of people have done it successfully. In fact, more than half of Americans who ever smoked have quit. You could be one of them!

Nicotine – the drug found in all tobacco products – is as addictive as heroin or cocaine. It’s the nicotine in cigarettes that causes the strong feeling that you want to smoke (craving). Remember – quitting isn’t easy, but it is possible!

Take these steps to help you quit:

Find out more about steps you can take as you get ready to quit smoking.

You will feel better after you quit.

Your body begins to heal as soon as you quit smoking. Here are some ways you will feel better:

Find out more about how quitting smoking will help your health.

Quitting smoking will help you live a longer, healthier life.

After you quit smoking:

Check out these real stories of people who have been hurt by smoking.

Will quitting make me gain weight?

Some people worry about gaining weight when they quit smoking. It's true that some people gain weight after quitting, but you can prevent weight gain by making healthy choices. For example:

To learn more ways to watch your weight after quitting, check out these tips.


Take Action!

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Take these steps to quit smoking.

Write down your reasons to quit.

Make a list of all the reasons you want to quit. For example, your reasons to quit might be to set a healthy example for your children and to save money. Keep the list with you to remind yourself why quitting is worth it.

Set a quit date.

Make a quit plan.

Check out this online quit plan tool or call the tobacco quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) for free support and help setting up your quit plan.

Change your daily routine.

Changing your routine on your quit date and afterward can help you break habits related to smoking.

Break the connection between eating and smoking. 

Many people like to smoke when they finish a meal. Here are some ways to break the connection:

Deal with stress.

Some people smoke to deal with stress. But there are ways to deal with stress without smoking. 

Manage stress by creating peaceful times in your daily schedule. Try relaxation methods like deep breathing, short walks, and meditation.

You can also check out these tips for dealing with stress as you quit.

Manage cravings.

When you quit smoking, the urge to smoke will come and go, but it will gradually decrease over time. Most cravings only last a short time. 

Here are some ways to manage cravings:

Remember, quitting may be hard – so prepare yourself.  Take this withdrawal quiz every day to see your progress.

Talk with a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.

Ask about:

When you stop smoking, your body goes through withdrawal from nicotine. This means you may feel irritable, anxious, restless, or hungry. You may even have trouble concentrating or sleeping. Find out about medicines that can help with withdrawal.

What about cost?

You can get free help with quitting by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) and by visiting Smokefree.gov.

As a result of the  Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law passed in 2010, insurance plans must cover some services to help people quit smoking. Depending on your insurance, you may be able to get these services at no cost to you.

Check with your insurance company to find out what kind of counseling and medicines are included in your plan. For information about other services covered by the Affordable Care Act, visit HealthCare.gov.

Don’t give up!

Remember, it takes time to overcome addiction.  Check out these tips for staying smokefree.

Learn from the past.

Many people try to quit more than once before they succeed. Most people who start smoking again do so in the first 3 months after quitting. If you’ve tried to quit before, think about what worked for you and what didn’t.

Being around other smokers can make it harder to quit. So can drinking alcohol.

If you are having a hard time "staying quit," talk with your doctor about what types of counseling or medicines might help you. Remember, quitting is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health.


Start Today: Small Steps

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