It’s easier to quit or reduce nicotine when you’re prepared. If your quit date is approaching, follow these steps to get yourself ready for the big day.
1. Write Down Your Why
Make a list of your top top 3 reasons for quitting or reducing and keep it visible at home, at work, on your phone, and in your car. These will be important if you’re tempted to smoke or vape and you need a reminder of why you chose to quit.
2. Tell Your Loved Ones
Quitting or reducing will be easier when you have friends and family on your side. Here are some tips for letting others support you:
- Let your loved ones know why you are quitting and when.
- Ask those that smoke to not smoke or vape around you or offer you a puff (even if you ask).
- Let them know you might be a bit grumpy or out of sorts for a while and to be patient.
- Ask them to organize activities where smoking or vaping is not an option.
- Ask someone to be your backup when attending events that might cause cravings.
3. Use the QuitNow Tools
Behavioural support can help keep you accountable and motivated to reach your goals. QuitNow has a variety of support services to assist you on your journey.
Our expert Quit Coaches can help you review your quit plan, prepare for handling cravings and withdrawal, and help you feel ready to handle quit day.
Make a post asking for quit tips or simply read the advice others have shared on the Forum.
4. Stock up on supplies
Quitting or reducing tobacco and nicotine can be challenging, but there are tools that can support you on this journey. Using Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) or prescription quit medications can double your chances of quitting successfully.
- If you are going to use NRT(gum, patches, lozenges, inhaler), make sure you have it ready to go on quit day. Visit your local pharmacy and ask about a free supply through the BC Smoking Cessation Program.
- If you are going to take prescription medications, visit your doctor at least 2 weeks before your quit date to ensure the medications have time to kick in. Read more about medications.
You may also want to gather other supplies to help you cope with cravings and keep your hands and mouth busy. Healthy snacks like sunflower seeds and carrots or gum and mints can help control cravings. Games and gadgets can help keep your mind busy and distract you from cravings— try a stress ball or Rubik’s cube or download some games on your phone.
5. Mentally Prepare for the Tough Stuff
- Triggers are people, places, or situations that give you the urge to smoke or vape. Start paying attention to when you smoke -- the time, place, people you’re with, and how you are feeling. Try tracking your tobacco use using the Tally Sheet so that you can prepare to avoid or handle your triggers.
- For most people, a few common triggers– like alcohol or stress - are responsible for many of their cravings. Cravings usually only last a few minutes, but our thoughts about them can last longer. To help with this, Use the 4 Ds—Delay, Distract, Drink Water, Deep Breathing- until your craving passes.
- Nicotine withdrawal is strongest during the first week of quitting. The best way to reduce withdrawal and double your chances of quit success is to use quitting aids like Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) or prescription medications.
6. Clean Up
Get rid of your smoking and vaping materials and reminders at home, work, and in your car. You’ll feel ready to make a fresh start and won’t be tempted by lingering supplies.
- Remove ashtrays, lighters, and vape pods or devices.
- Clean the walls, carpets and furniture to remove the stains and odour of smoke.
- Give your clothes a good clean and, if possible, hang them outside to freshen up.
- Visit your dentist to clean your teeth and get rid of smoking stains.
7. Be Kind to Yourself
Changing your relationship with tobacco and nicotine is a process. It can take time. Treat yourself with compassion throughout your quit journey. If you slip or return to smoking/vaping, go easy on yourself. Tomorrow is a new day, and you can always try again.