Quitting Smoking: My Quit Plan

You've made up your mind that you want to quit smoking. It's natural to have mixed emotions. Perhaps you're hopeful about being healthier. At the same time, you might be nervous or not sure you can quit.

Try to focus on the fact that you want to quit—whether it's your first time or tenth. And focus on creating your plan to quit. A quit plan can help you deal with your feelings now and ones that may come.

Having a plan may help your chances of staying tobacco-free.

Thinking about your plan

Name your reasons for quitting

Knowing why you want to quit can help you stay motivated. Do you hope to be more active, to look and feel better, or to lower your chances of a long-term disease? Whatever the reason, it's your reason and so it's the most important.

Set your quit date

When is a good day to stop smoking? Pick a time when you don't have a lot of stress or change.

Change your surroundings

Sure, you'll throw out all your cigarettes, ashtrays, and lighters. But there will be other reminders of smoking that you'll have to avoid or stay away from. These are called cues and can tempt you to smoke. Common ones include:

  • Being with friends who smoke.
  • Smelling coffee.
  • Drinking alcohol.

Do you have others?

Plan for how will you try to stay away from these cues. You'll tell your friends that you're quitting. You may need to change your routine if some places or foods make you want a cigarette.

Prepare for emotions and cravings

Withdrawing from nicotine can make you feel stressed, upset, or cranky. Some people can have strong cravings.

What can you to do prepare for these kinds of feelings?

Here are some ideas:

  • Tell yourself that these emotions are uncomfortable, but they will pass.
  • Plan for ways to handle a strong urge to smoke, such as exercising, walking your dog, or calling or texting a friend.
  • Start a hobby or activity.

Will any of these work for you, or do you have others?

Decide about medicine

Think ahead about whether or not you want to take medicine to help quit. Using medicines and nicotine replacement products can double your chances of quitting smoking. They can relieve nicotine craving and withdrawal symptoms.

  • Some medicine is available without a prescription, such as nicotine patches, gum, and lozenges.
  • Other medicine requires a prescription, such as pills, a nicotine inhaler, or a nasal spray.

Find support

You may have spent good times with friends or family while smoking. After you stop, you may feel like you're losing those connections and that quitting isn't worth it.

In your plan, include those who can support you. These are friends or family who will tell you to keep going or trying. They will help you deal with stress and bad moods. And they will join you to celebrate when you reach your goals.


You may have days when you may wonder whether quitting is a good idea. Celebrations are reminders that can help when negative thoughts creep back.

In your quit plan, you'll want to include ways to remember and celebrate what you've done. You'll remind yourself of why you wanted to quit and make quitting seem doable again.

Creating your plan

Now take some time to think about when, how, and who can help you in your decision to quit smoking. Think about your healthier self a few days, a few weeks, or even a month from now. Who do you see? Use these thoughts to plan your success and plan for a healthier you.

My Quit Plan

My reasons to quit:

My quit date:

How I will prepare my house, car, and other environments:

How I will prepare for emotions and cravings:

What medicine will I take:

Who will support me:

How I will celebrate: