70% of smokers want to quit. Are you one of them?

Here are some tips that former smokers found helpful when wanting to quit tobacco.

1. Don’t smoke any cigarettes. Each cigarette you smoke damages your lungs, your blood vessels, and cells throughout your body. Even occasional smoking is harmful.

2. Write down why you want to quit. Do you want to

  • Be around for your loved ones?
  • Have better health?
  • Set a good example for your children?
  • Protect your family from breathing other people’s smoke?
  • Not let tobacco control your life and others?

Really wanting to quit smoking is very important to how much success you will have in quitting.

3. Quit “Cold Turkey.” The term “cold turkey” is most often used to refer to quitting abruptly or suddenly (rather than gradually cutting down to no cigarettes).

A recent Gallup poll found that most successful smokers who quit smoking, quit “Cold Turkey.”

4. Know that it will take commitment and effort to quit smoking. Nearly all smokers have some feelings of nicotine withdrawal when they try to quit. Nicotine is addictive. Knowing this will help you deal with withdrawal symptoms that can occur, such as bad moods and really wanting to smoke.

There are many ways smokers quit, including using nicotine replacement products (gum and patches) or FDA-approved, non-nicotine cessation medications. Some people do not experience any withdrawal symptoms. For most people, symptoms only last a few days to a couple of weeks. Take quitting one day at a time, even one minute at a time — whatever you need to succeed.

5. Get help if you want it. Smokers can receive free resources and assistance to help them quit by calling the 1-800-QUIT-NOW quitline (1-800-784-8669) or by taking a Freedom from Tobacco cessation class at Amarillo College or Regence Health. Your health care providers are also a good source for help and support.

6. Remember quitting is good news! More than half of all adult smokers quit, and you can, too. It may take several attempts, but millions of people have learned to face life without a cigarette. Quitting smoking is the single most important step you can take to protect your health and the health of your family.