Quitting Smoking An Overview

If you’re ready to quit smoking now, congratulations! This may be one of the best decisions of your life. You’ve taken a huge step forward for your health, and you’ll soon reap the rewards in the increased satisfaction you get out of eating, exercise, spending time with others and even breathing deeply. But quitting smoking is difficult, and quitting techniques that work for some people may not work for others.

Explore this section for more information as you begin your transition to a smoke–free life. You’ll learn the challenges of quitting smoking and how to overcome these trials. If you quit smoking now, you’ll greatly reduce your risk of developing life-threatening diseases and life-altering medical conditions. Even though it may be difficult, quitting smoking is within reach. A few helpful tools can help you put cigarettes behind you forever.

Patterns of Quitting Smoking

You can take one of several well-traveled paths to quit smoking. Pay attention to what others have learned about different methods, and consider each one’s pros and cons. Sometimes, the only approach that works is cutting back, but one cigarette a day is better than a whole pack. Some smokers quit over and over again and never fully walk away. But again, that’s better than not quitting smoking at all.

Quitting Cold Turkey

Quitting cold turkey means cutting cigarettes out of your life all at once, permanently. This is the fastest way to quit smoking now and stop introducing toxins into your system, and it’s the fastest way to get past the first symptoms of withdrawal. However, quitting cold turkey doesn’t come free of challenges.

Taking Medication to Quit Smoking

Sometimes a doctor may need to prescribe medication to help you quit smoking, especially if other methods aren’t effective. While this may be a promising option, but each anti-smoking medication has its own pros and cons. Your doctor can help you decide if medication is the right choice for you.

Nicotine Replacement and Quit Smoking Aids

Nicotine gum, patches, nasal sprays and other “quit smoking aids” can allow you to slowly wean your system away from nicotine, the addictive component of cigarettes. Quit smoking aids can help you move quickly away from smoking, but more gradually away from your addiction.


American Association for Respiratory Care. (2005). Stop smoking. Retrieved October 1, 2010, from http://www.yourlunghealth.org/stop_smoking/process/

National Cancer Institute (2007). Quitting smoking. Why to quit and how to get help. Retrieved September 30, 2010, from http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Tobacco/cessation

Smoking Cessation. (2010). Develop your quitting plan. Retrieved October 1, 2010, from http://www.smoking-cessation.org/quit_smoking_guide_6.asp