Preparing for Quit Day
Preparing for Quit Day
Congratulations on deciding to quit smoking... you’ve already made an important step forward! Now it’s time to start thinking about your strategy—how you will navigate the challenges ahead, deal with temptations, or get help when you need it. The better your preparations before quitting, the better your chances of success once you actually quit. Here are some important first steps to take:
- Write down the reasons you want to quit smoking. To improve your health? Protect your family? Set a good example for your children? There are so many reasons to quit, but think about what’s most important to you. Answer questions to think about.
- Are You Ready? Answer a couple readiness assessment questions.
- What type of support works best? There are many of options to consider. You can choose among phone support (call the PA Free Quitline at 1-800 QUIT NOW) or attend any number of group and individual quit smoking support programs found in your community.[link to regional service provider page] Proven and effective web-based quit smoking programs can work for some. [link to appropriate resources page]. And, the use of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and prescribed medications [link to NRT page] can significantly increase your chance of success. Your doctor or a cessation professional can help you decide which supports and medications are best.
- Pick a quit date sometime within the next few weeks. When you use a support program, the cessation professional will help you to pick a quit date. Choose a time to start when you are not likely to be under stress or least likely to be smoking anyway.
- Let your family, friends or healthcare provider know you will need assistance. By being open and honest about your quit attempt, your family, friends and physician can be a vital aid in helping improve the likelihood of your attempt being a success.
- Quit completely to increase your chances of success. Most people who try to cut down or just smoke a few cigarettes end up smoking the same amount again before long. Besides, even a few cigarettes a day can harm your health and take away from all the great benefits you will start to realize after quitting.
- Register for the Quit Companion. New interactive tools like our Quit Companion approach quitting in a whole new way. For instance, by understanding your smoking tendencies, you can pinpoint specific times in which you’re at your weakest points. Support messages can then be triggered to arrive in your inbox or cell phone with encouraging messages from yourself, your friends and your family.
On a scale of one to ten, how important is it for you to quit using tobacco?
One the same scale, how confident are you that you can quit?
If your answers to both questions seem high enough for you, at least a 7 – 8, this may be a good time to quit. Go back and review your answers to Questions to Think About if you are still not sure.
Learn about the 5 keys to quitting.
When you quit smoking, your risk of stroke decreases steadily. Former smokers have the same stroke risk as nonsmokers after 5 to 15 years.