Quitting smoking is like a journey … and like most journeys it helps to be prepared. The more you know about what you’ll be experiencing, the more ready you’ll be to face—and triumph over—the challenges.
Because everyone is different, everyone’s Quit Journey will also be different. Still, there are some stages or steps that are shared by just about everyone. We’ve listed these 5 steps below, with information and guidelines to help you get through each one. Just click on a title and you’ll find articles, strategies for support, and tools to help with motivation.
The 5 steps in the Quit Journey
To start on your Quit Journey, first try the simple quiz below to find out where you are on the path, then click on the title of the appropriate stage of the Quit Journey. When you’re ready, you can move on to the next stage.
At this stage, you’re a smoker who doesn’t think much about quitting. You may think you’re not capable of quitting or you may not believe smoking affects your health. When asked about your smoking, you feel challenged and may even defend and rationalize your reasons to smoke.Of course, the choice to quit is completely up to you, but we’d encourage you to have an open mind. Why not take a few minutes and explore the tools and information on this site? Though you may not be ready to quit now, would you consider it possible 6 months from now? What about 5 years from now? Perhaps a change in situation might change your mind, like a health issue or a desire to start a family?To explore these questions, here are some articles you might like to read:
Even if you are not interested in quitting right now, the Smokers’ Helpline is still available to answer any questions you may have. When you call (or connect with) the Smokers’ Helpline there is no pressure to quit and you are not obligated to sign up for any of our services. We are here to support you in every step of your quit journey.
At this stage you realize that it may be a good idea to quit and are beginning to think seriously about taking action. You may however feel torn: part of you wants to quit yet another part wants to continue smoking. Remember, these feelings are normal. It’s also completely natural to feel anxious when you think about quitting—it’s scary to make big life changes! You may worry that it might be difficult or that you may feel bad if you fail.To move forward, it’s helpful to think about solutions rather than the problems. Start learning about the different approaches to quitting and the effective tools and products that are available. Another option is to think about the future rather than the past. You can think about all the money you’ll be saving and what you’ll be able to buy with that money, or how great you will feel when you’ve quit.Even if you’re not ready to quit right now, perhaps you’re ready to take some small steps, like reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke a day. For motivation at this stage, check out these articles:
- Savings calculator (see how much money you’ll be saving).
- Health benefits of quitting
- Non-health benefits of quitting
- Small steps towards quitting
How the Smokers’ Helpline can support you at this stage: The Smokers’ Helpline offers a variety of tools, tips and support (including motivation and encouragement) to help you along the way. To find out more about the ways the Helpline can help you achieve success, call: 1-800-363-5864
Great news, you’ve decided to quit! Did you know there are steps that you can take to prepare yourself for quitting? Things like setting a quit date, making a support plan, or starting a nicotine replacement therapy prior to quitting? By preparing for quitting and knowing what’s ahead on the journey, you can improve your chances of quitting for good.At the getting ready to quit stage, you may find these articles useful.
- Getting ready to quit, which includes setting a Quit Day and making a plan.
- Making a personal support plan
- Know your smoking triggers
- Nicotine replacement therapies
- Quit smoking medication
How the Smokers’ Helpline can support you at this stage: At this stage, you may feel like no one understands what you are going through. This is when connecting with a Smokers’ Helpline counsellor can really help. Helpline counsellors are very understanding and knowledgeable about nicotine withdrawal and can offer tips on how to manage cravings. Best of all, they don’t judge. Smokers’ Helpline: 1-800-363-5864
Excellent! You are taking action with your quit plan. Be proud of yourself. Your quit day may be difficult; you may experience cravings and withdrawal symptoms, but remember you can do this! Cravings will pass and withdrawal symptoms will get less intense with time and you will enjoy all the benefits of living smoke free.When quitting, you may find these articles useful.
- On your quit day
- 3 essential steps to staying on track
- How to deal with cravings
- Tips to conquer withdrawal symptoms.
- Alternatives to smoking
- Celebrate your success
How the Smokers’ Helpline can support you at this stage: Withdrawal symptoms are likely to be most intense during the first two weeks after quitting. During this critical time a Smokers’ Helpline counsellor can help you stay on track. Call: 1-800-363-5864
Congratulations! You’re a non-smoker now. At this stage you’ll want to make sure you remain committed to quitting. You can review your reasons for quitting, or write new ones. If you’re in your first 2 weeks of quitting, you might be experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Just remain positive; remember that this is a sign your body is healing and that these feelings will pass. Refer to your list of things to do instead of smoking or how to deal with cravings. But even the strongest willed people can suffer setbacks when attempting to overcome an addiction as powerful as cigarettes. If you have a relapse, try not to feel discouraged. Many smokers try several times before giving up cigarettes for good. It’s all part of the journey—what’s important is you keep on moving forward.At this stage, you may find these articles useful.
Did you know the Smokers’ Helpline can support you even after you’ve quit! You can call us for encouragement, tips, and any other additional support you need. Or call us to tell us about your quit journey and how you managed to overcome tobacco addiction! We love hearing about success stories. Smokers’ Helpline: 1-800-363-5864
Please keep in mind that it’s not necessary to go through the Quit Journey in a straight line. It’s okay if you move back to an earlier step, or revisit a stage if you need to. As with all accomplishments there might be a few bumps along the way. Don’t let these stop you; the important thing is to just keep going. This is one journey you definitely want to take.
Also, remember that you can call the Smokers’ Helpline at any time if you have a question or need some support. That’s what we’re here for. 1-800-363-5864