Choose a Plan or Create Your Own to Quit Smoking

We've offered you a suggested plan and links to other organizations that offer plans that have helped many people stop smoking, but many successful former smokers devised plans of their own that may help you quit.

"The first week, I told one-quarter of my friends and family that I had quit smoking, so any time I wanted to be around them..."

"The first week of my "grand plan" I told one-quarter of my friends and family that I had quit smoking all together. So any time I wanted to be around them ... I had no choice but to be smoke free. At the same time, I still had other friends that I could smoke with. The next week I told another quarter that I had quit and so on. By the end of a month, I had told everyone that I had quit and I smoked my last cigarette. I also made a few adjustments in my life to try to make it easier on me. When I hung out with my friends who smoked I always chose areas where smoking was not allowed. I also made an effort to hang around more nonsmokers and to never date a smoker." — Caroline D.

"I told myself that from this day forward I wouldn't BUY any more cigarettes."

"The day that I decided 'no more' I still had cigarettes in the house. I could have thrown them away, but I told myself that from this day forward I wouldn't BUY anymore cigarettes. EVER. Because I was so dependent, I started by cutting back. As my stash dwindled, pack by pack, I started questioning myself, 'do I REALLY want this cigarette now, or would I rather save it for tomorrow morning?' I found that since I was evaluating how important it was to smoke or not smoke each cigarette, that those last 9 packs of cigarettes lasted a VERY long time (months). At the end, I was down to that one morning cigarette. I was adjusting my body to diminishing amounts of nicotine and other additives and I was doing it at my own pace. I didn't need patches or gum because I was using real cigarettes. It does take willpower, though." — Kati M.

"I took one cigarette out of my pack and smoked the rest." "I was an approximate one-pack-a-day smoker. Quitting by cold turkey did not appeal to me, as I knew that it is a chemical and there would be actual physical withdrawal symptoms. Every day I took one cigarette out of my pack and smoked the rest. After awhile I took three cigarettes out, and smoked the rest, etc. and it worked! I smoked a modified "pack" a day, and reused the ones I took out. I did it gradually and got down to 3 cigarettes a day. It was a game with me. I would see how long I could go without one and then reward myself by having one. I knew once I smoked that third one, that was all I had for the rest of the day, so I saved them for special occasions, stuff like morning coffee, or after dinner. I was finally down to one a day, and let me tell you, I had it every morning with coffee, and my body depended on that one a day! I finally stopped, which was hard because I no longer had any more nicotene coming into my system, however, I think it was much easier, as I had weaned myself off them, and quitting that one smoke a day was easier than quitting cold turkey off a pack a day habit!

Also, in the meantime, I had kept a half of a pack in the glove compartment in my truck for months. They were terribly stale and old. They were my emergency pack in case I started jonesing really bad and was gonna have one. Well, after quitting, I had a run-in with an ex-boyfriend and my nerves were shot, and I was gonna have one no matter what, so I grabbed on of my "emergency cigarettes" out of the glove compartment and lit it and it was so stale, and as I had not had a cigarette in weeks, and the fact it was so old, it made me sick as a dog, and I've never touched one since!" — Larisa S.