Lady smiling at her phone while looking up information on quitting smoking

Preparing to Quit Smoking

Ready to start a new chapter in your life and ditch smoking? Well, preparing to quit smoking can be difficult or scary if you are unsure where to start. That is why having a well-thought-out plan can make quitting smoking less intimidating, and can provide you with the right motivation to reach your goals. It's never too late to quit smoking, so read on to find out how you can make an effective plan and start today.

Set Your Quit Date

The first step to quitting smoking and nicotine is choosing when you will quit.

  1. Give Yourself a Timeline: Some find it easier to quit when on holiday1
  2. Pick a day, mark it in your calendar and commit to quitting on that day. Pick a time when you are not stressed and take one step at a time to achieve your goal. Don’t think too far ahead and reward yourself for meeting small goals.
  3. Don’t Set a Date Too Far in the Future: Picking a far in the future time can make you less motivated.

Identify Why You Smoke

It is important to understand why you smoke and what is motivating you to quit2. You may have started smoking young, to fit in with peers or family, or to look more mature. You could have started for no reason. If you can identify why you started to smoke, this can help you prepare for missing smoking, withdrawals and cravings. 

Identify Why You’re Quitting

Once you’ve understood why you began smoking, identify the pros of quitting. You may want to ask questions like:

Write down your reasons to quit and put them a place where you’ll see them every day. Your work computer, your fridge, in your wallet or set as background or reminder in your phone. This list can help motivate and remind you why you started the quit smoking process.

Develop a Way to Tackle Cravings and Nicotine Withdrawal

Cigarette and nicotine cravings can be pretty powerful. Developing a plan to overcome cravings can help you break free from smoking.

  • Identify what makes you crave cigarettes
  • Write down what situations make you want to smoke
  • Change your activities and settings
  • Find ways to relax is stress triggers cravings

Tell You Family & Friends About Your Quit Plan

Having people to support you through your quit plan can help make it easier.

  • Choose who will give you the kind of support you need
  • Tell them your reasons for quitting
  • Explain what you find most difficult about quitting
  • Tell them what kind of support you’d like
  • Explain what kind of support you would not like

Resources for Professionals

There are many resources available for medical professionals to help patients quit smoking. Learn more about supporting readiness to quit.