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Smoking Cessation - a plan for quitting

A Healthy Hearts Guide  WHF red heart corporate logo ®

Picture of woman breaking a cigarette in half

Quitting smoking is a challenge. It takes a lot of energy to quit. Quit when you feel ready. It should be a time when you do not have more demands than is normal. If you are ready and want to try to quit on your own, this Guide will help you. By recording the situations or "triggers" which make you light up and by planning other activities, you will be better prepared to deal with cravings. Choose three weeks you are going to dedicate to quitting smoking. Several weeks before quitting, you should start an exercise program-- but only do this under the advisement of your healthcare practitioner*. It will boost your confidence and give you an alternate activity.

Complete Your Schedule for Quitting Below.



Week 1: Get prepared to quit

Plan your START DATE:____________

Plan your QUIT SMOKING DATE:____________

Write down your reasons for quitting smoking:
  1. ____________________________________________________

  2. ____________________________________________________

  3. ____________________________________________________

  4. ____________________________________________________

  5. ____________________________________________________




Week 2: Begin recording what makes you smoke. Plan ways to avoid smoking situations


Reporting triggers START DATE:_________.

List what is triggering you to light up.

  1. ____________________________________________________

  2. ____________________________________________________

  3. ____________________________________________________

  4. ____________________________________________________

  5. ____________________________________________________

List ways you can avoid triggers or do something else.

Suggested activities for doing something else: relaxing and taking 3 deep breaths; sipping a cup of tea, water or juice; taking a walk; talking to someone; munching a celery stick; repeating to yourself your reasons for not smoking; counting to 10; exercising.

  1. ____________________________________________________

  2. ____________________________________________________

  3. ____________________________________________________

  4. ____________________________________________________

  5. ____________________________________________________

Write down the names of those family members and friends who you would like to have help you break the habit.

Think of how each can help e.g. pep talks, support, involvement in an activity. Tell them that they are not to nag or tease you in any way)

Persons I can call when I need support:

  1. ____________________________________________________

  2. ____________________________________________________

  3. ____________________________________________________

  4. ____________________________________________________

  5. ____________________________________________________

Plan rewards for when you are able to break a trigger.

Rewards should be easy to obtain e.g. buy something for yourself, go to a movie, pat yourself on the back.

Date:______ Instead of smoking, I___________________________________________

   I rewarded myself by:____________________________________________________


Date:______ Instead of smoking, I___________________________________________

   I rewarded myself by:____________________________________________________


Date:______ Instead of smoking, I___________________________________________

   I rewarded myself by:____________________________________________________


Date:______ Instead of smoking, I___________________________________________

   I rewarded myself by:____________________________________________________


Date:______ Instead of smoking, I___________________________________________

   I rewarded myself by:____________________________________________________



Week 3: Becoming and staying a non-smoker


ACTUAL QUIT DATE:___________

Prepare for your first day of not smoking. Anticipate triggers and have backup ideas to fight trigger situations. Keep in mind that the first 3 days are often the hardest because this is when the nicotine is leaving the body.

If you start smoking again, plan another time when you will try to quit -- perhaps a month or two from now -- but don’t wait too long. You have learned a lot and were successful at breaking some triggers. Most smokers who have succeeded at quitting tried many times.

To succeed at quitting smoking, don’t quit trying. Thirty million Americans kept trying and quit. You can too!


Note: Check with your local hospital for a Stop Smoking program. Social support can make all the difference in your achieving success. Consult with your local Wellness Center to incorporate holistic measures to get past the anxiety. Ask your practitioner about prescription medicines that can help lift mood and fight the cravings (e.g. ChantixTM, ZybanTM or WellbutrinTM). Always check with your healthcare professional before starting any new exercise program.

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1999-2000; updates: 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007 Women's Heart Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited. The information contained in this Women's Heart Foundation (WHF) Web site is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment, and WHF recommends consultation with your doctor or health care professional.

   

Disclaimer | Donate Now | Contact Us | Site Map | Store


1999-2000; updates: 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007 Women's Heart Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited. The information contained in this Women's Heart Foundation (WHF) Web site is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment, and WHF recommends consultation with your doctor or health care professional.