Quit Smoking Patterns To Choose From

Making the decision to quit smoking is the first step to a better life. Quitting smoking may be difficult, but you’ll improve your chances of success if you first develop a plan that’s well-suited to your personality and your current smoking habits. Quitting cold turkey may work for you, but other options are available. Explore these quit smoking patterns, set a quit day and establish a quitting smoking timeline.

Quit Smoking: Get Help

Smoking cessation clinics–offered at hospitals, worksites or voluntary agencies–may be an invaluable source of help if you’re looking to quit smoking. At the beginning of your quitting smoking timeline, you may not know how much social support you’ll need as you progress. If you work well in group settings, consider a smoking cessation clinic.

Investigate several clinics before you make a commitment. Choose a clinic that’s close, so that you can’t drop out on account of distance and inconvenience. Find out how many sessions are in the program, the clinic’s success rate and the training received by the staff. Once you commit to a clinic, attend all meetings as you progress along your quitting smoking timeline.

Quit Smoking By Yourself

You may want to quit smoking alone if doing so is a better fit for your personality. Quitting solo will give you full control of your quitting smoking timeline, but you may lack the support offered by a group program.

If you’re planning to quit smoking by yourself, map out a plan, choose a nicotine replacement product (if you feel you’ll need one) and set a quit day. If you choose a nicotine replacement, your quitting smoking timeline should have you free of both cigarettes and replacements in three to six months.

Also, reduce the nicotine content of your cigarettes before your quit day. Begin smoking filtered cigarettes that are labeled “ultra-light,” so you can reduce your nicotine intake without changing the number of cigarettes you smoke.

Quitting Cold Turkey

Unlike other gradual quit smoking patterns, quitting cold turkey involves quitting smoking all at once. Quitting cold turkey is an option for most people. If you’re pregnant or nursing, however, quitting cold turkey is always recommended over slower forms of nicotine reduction, as pregnant and nursing women shouldn’t use forms of nicotine replacement.

Setting a Quit Day

Set a quit day 10 to 14 days from the date of your decision to quit smoking, allowing you to get used to the idea as it approaches. As you set the day, consider your smoking patterns. Some people smoke most at work, while others smoke most at social gatherings. If you fall into the second category, consider setting your quit day over a period with no social activities scheduled.

Respect the quit day. You may be excited to begin and want to start a day or two earlier, but try not to do this. Work toward the day and quit when it arrives.

Diverging From Your Quitting Smoking Timeline

If you slip off track, get back on as quickly as possible. If you find that your quit day has come and gone, set another date. Keep quitting, as many times as you need to. Every cigarette that you don’t smoke is a small victory.


American Association for Respiratory Care. (2005). Stop smoking. Retrieved October 4, 2010, from http://www.yourlunghealth.org/stop_smoking/process/

National Cancer Institute. (2007). Quitting smoking: Why to quit and how to get help. Retrieved October 4, 2010, from http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Tobacco/cessation

Smoking Cessation. (2010). Develop your quitting plan. Retrieved October 4, 2010, from http://www.smoking-cessation.org/quit_smoking_guide_6.asp