4 Ways to Quit Smoking

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4 Ways to Quit Smoking
4 Ways to Quit Smoking

Nicotine is one of the most dangerous drugs in the world. Unfortunately, it's widely available out there. It is addictive for both smokers and those who are passively exposed to cigarette smoke, especially children. If you want to quit smoking but don't even know where to start, the tip is to make a structured plan. Understand why you want to quit smoking, be prepared to get it, and follow through with the plan with the support of others or even some medication. Quitting smoking is difficult but not impossible.


Method 1 of 4: Deciding to Quit Smoking

Quit Smoking Step 1

Step 1. Analyze whether you really want to quit smoking

Nicotine is highly addictive, so it will take a lot of determination. Ask yourself the following question: "Is life without a cigarette more attractive than life as a smoker?" If the answer is “yes,” think of a clear reason to stop smoking. That way, when withdrawal becomes unbearable, you can remember that reason and use it to stay strong.

Notice how smoking affects these areas: health, appearance, lifestyle and loved ones. If you stopped smoking, what would be the benefit for them?

Quit Smoking Step 2

Step 2. Think about why you want to quit smoking

The tip is to make a list with all the reasons you can identify. This will give you a clearer picture of the decision and, when you feel like smoking, it will be very useful to consult it.

For example, you can write things like: “I want to quit smoking so I can play soccer with my child”, “I want to have more energy”, “I want to be alive to see my grandchildren get married” or “I want to save money”

Quit Smoking Step 3

Step 3. Be prepared for withdrawal symptoms

Cigarettes are very efficient at releasing nicotine into the body. When we stop smoking, several side effects appear, such as: increased desire to smoke, anxiety, depression, headache, feelings of restlessness, increased appetite, weight gain and concentration problems.

Quitting smoking usually takes more than one attempt. In the United States, approximately 45 million people use some form of nicotine and only 5% manage to quit smoking on the first attempt

Method 2 of 4: Making a Plan to Quit Smoking

Quit Smoking Step 4

Step 1. Choose a date to start

That way you'll be structuring the plan much more clearly. You can, for example, choose an important date (birthday or holiday) or simply think of any day.

Choose a date within the next two weeks. That way, you'll have time to prepare and start the process on a day that isn't too stressful - which would eventually lead to smoking

Quit Smoking Step 5

Step 2. Decide on a method

You can choose between the abrupt way or the gradual reduction. Stopping abruptly means breaking the habit without thinking twice or looking back. On the other hand, reducing gradually is the act of smoking less and less until you stop completely. If you choose the second option, be as specific as possible. For example, say to yourself, "I'm going to smoke a cigarette every other day."

It will be much easier if you combine therapy and medication with stopping, regardless of the method

Quit Smoking Step 6

Step 3. Be prepared to face abstinence

Plan ahead what you will do when the mood strikes. Do you know the action of bringing your hand to your mouth to smoke? Many people miss this movement. To combat the problem, it is necessary to create a way to replace cigarettes. Try using low-calorie foods like raisins, popcorn or even a lollipop.

To combat the urge to smoke, exercise can work. Go for a walk, clean the kitchen or do some yoga. Another tip for controlling the urge to pick up a cigarette is to play with an anti-stress ball or chew gum

Method 3 of 4: Putting the Plan into Action

Quit Smoking Step 7

Step 1. The day before, make all the necessary preparations

Wash clothes and sheets to get rid of the smell of cigarettes. Throw away any ashtrays, cigarettes and lighters you have at home. Finally, get enough sleep to lower your stress levels.

Keep a written version of the plan with you at all times. It could be a piece of paper in your bag or a file in your cell phone. Whenever possible, also read the list of reasons to stop smoking

Quit Smoking Step 8

Step 2. Ask for help

Friends and family will be essential on this journey. Let everyone know the situation and ask them not to smoke near you or offer you a cigarette. When abstinence is hard to bear, ask them to remind you of specific goals.

Don't forget to take it one day at a time. Quitting smoking is a process, not a timed event

Quit Smoking Step 9

Step 3. What causes the urge to smoke?

You may feel the need to grab a cigarette while having a cup of coffee or even solving a problem at work. Identify situations and locations and plan ahead of time what to do to get around the temptation. For example, have an automatic response when people offer you a cigarette: “No thanks. But I'll want another glass of water” or “No, I'm trying to stop.”

Manage your stress. It is one of the worst possible traps for those who are wanting to quit smoking. To avoid it, learn breathing techniques, exercise, and find ways to pass the time

Quit Smoking Step 10

Step 4. Commit to the ultimate goal of quitting smoking

Even if you find stones on the way, you have to move on. If you relapse and end up smoking for a day, be prepared to forgive yourself. First, accept that the journey is long and complicated. However, the next day, go back to the plan.

Avoid as much relapse as possible. However, if they do happen, get back to the plan as soon as you can. Learn from this experience to better deal with the problem in the future

Method 4 of 4: Using Some Incentives

Quit Smoking Step 11

Step 1. Try the electronic cigarette

Several recent researches have shown that the use of this accessory helps to reduce or stop the addiction. Other studies recommend attention to the use of electronic cigarettes, since the amount of nicotine varies, the same substances from conventional cigarettes are still being released into the body and the smoking habit can be revived.

Quit Smoking Step 12

Step 2. Seek professional help

By using medications and behavioral therapy, you will be more likely to quit smoking. If you've already tried to kick the habit on your own and haven't been able to, start looking for help. The doctor may prescribe some medicine to facilitate the process.

A psychologist can also be of great help. Cognitive Behavior Therapy can be great for changing a smoker's thoughts and attitudes. In addition, you will also be able to learn different ways to deal with abstinence

Quit Smoking Step 13

Step 3. Use Bupropion

This medication does not contain nicotine itself, but it helps to reduce withdrawal symptoms. Bupropion increases the chances of success by 69%. The tip is to start taking the medicine one to two weeks before you stop smoking. Generally, the prescription is for one or two 150 mg tablets a day.

Side effects include: dry mouth, difficulty sleeping, restlessness, irritability, tiredness, indigestion and headaches

Quit Smoking Step 14

Step 4. Use Champix

This drug limits the nicotine receptors in the brain, which makes smoking not pleasant. In addition, it also reduces withdrawal symptoms. Start taking Champix one week before you stop smoking. Don't forget to always take it with a meal. Treatment should last 12 weeks. Side effects include: headache, nausea, vomiting, difficulty sleeping, unusual dreams, gas and taste changes. This medication can double the chances of success.

The doctor will likely increase the dosage over time. For example, you will need to take 0.5 mg for the first three days. On days four to seven, you will take that same amount, but twice daily. After that you will need to take 1mg daily

Quit Smoking Step 15

Step 5. Try nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)

Patches, chewing gum, lozenges, nasal sprays, inhalers or even sublingual pills serve to release nicotine in the body. Many of these items are over-the-counter and actually help reduce withdrawal symptoms. TRN can increase the chances of success by up to 60%.

Side effects of TRN include: nightmares, insomnia and skin irritation from the patches; pain in the lining of the mouth, labored breathing, hiccups and jaw pain for chewing gum; irritated mouth and throat and coughing for inhalers; sore throat and hiccups for the lozenges; sore throat and irritated or runny nose for sprays

Additional Resources

Organization Contact
Preventive Medicine Center (11) 3747-1233
Anonymous Smokers Multiple addresses
Heart Hospital (11) 3053-6611
Rio de Janeiro State Government (21) 2299-9767


  • Find a hobby to entertain yourself with when the urge to smoke is too strong.
  • Try auto-suggestion: “I don't smoke. I cannot smoke. I will not smoke”. While you are saying these words, find something to do.
  • Limit your caffeine intake. When we stop smoking, the body begins to process this substance much more efficiently, resulting in sleepless nights.
  • Analyze if the addiction you have is psychological. Long-term smokers often have this problem. If you've been able to go without smoking for three or more days but then relapse soon, you probably have a psychological dependency. Seek expert help to eliminate anything that makes you want to smoke.
  • Avoid being around smokers and don't think of situations that remind you of the cigarette.
  • If you start smoking again, don't worry! Treat this attempt as a workout and be prepared for the next one.


  • It is dangerous to take any medicine to stop smoking. Always consult a doctor.
  • If you are considering nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), be aware that chewing gum, patches, or inhalers are also addictive.

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