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Stage Three: Preparing to Be Tobacco-Free

        Health | Smoking Cessation

Implementing Your Plan

Now it's time to make your commitment to stop. In a moment you'll write specific goals. But first take these small but very important steps toward commitment.

  1. Set a quit date. Your decision to stop is a journey. And like every journey it starts at a single point in time. Select a date in the next 30 days to quit. Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, the new year, a significant day at work or school ... all are good. If you're truly ready, pick a day soon, to take advantage of the momentum from your decision. Use the space on your personal action plan to record your quit date and your reason for choosing it.

  2. Tell everyone you know. If you're truly committed, you're ready to go public. And while it can cause some anxiety, it shows you're confident about your plan. Telling the world also reinforces your commitment to yourself. And those who care about you can be a great source of encouragement and support. Use your personal action plan to record the names of all you'll tell. Then place a check mark by their name after they know about your plan.


  3. Establish priorities. Let's face it, this isn't easy, or you would have quit long ago. But you've decided quitting is important to you. Now you need to give it the time and attention this deserves. That may mean stopping some things you're doing or putting them off until the urge to use tobacco goes away.


  4. Choose an option. There is no one best way to quit. Some smokers stop on their own, others want a proven program. Finding something that will work for you is the most critical factor. Some of the options include:
    • Self-help materials, Books, videos, work guides (like this one)
    • Group programs, Sessions that offer a structured/supportive environment
    • Stop-smoking aids, Nicotine sprays, patches, gum, medication
    • Alternative approaches, Hypnosis and acupuncture.

There are many factors to consider when deciding which options are best for you, cost, confidentiality, flexibility, support, and overall success rates. Again, be sure to talk with your doctor about the most appropriate tools to help you quit.