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Ready to Quit? 7 Tips to Kick the Smoking Habit

Deciding you’re ready to stop smoking is an important choice for your personal health and those close to you. It can also be a decision that causes fear, anxiety and stress.

To successfully quit smoking, you should have a specific plan and a support system in place to ensure success.

A variety of resources and medications can help increase your chances of successfully quitting and many of them may be covered by health insurance.


Why Should I Quit Now?

Everyone has heard the health risks associated with using tobacco products, and yet, about 1 out of 5 Americans still smoke.1 You may be a long-term smoker or someone who uses only occasionally, but stopping all tobacco use at any age comes with big benefits.

There are immediate and long-term health benefits of quitting. These include improved circulation, reduced coughing and shortness of breath, decreased stroke risk, reduced lung cancer and other cancer risks.2

Tips for Quitting:

  1. Set a Quit Day. Mark it on your calendar and stick to it.
  2. Create a plan for how you will avoid smoking urges. Remove cigarettes from your car or other trigger areas, decide on what you will use to help you quit and avoid situations where you like to smoke.
  3. Get a support team behind you. This can include family, friends, doctors or counselors.
  4. When your Quit Day arrives, stick with your plan and use your support team to be successful.
  5. See some bonus tips and benefits of quitting!
  6. Using a medication option can help address physical dependence to nicotine by reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms:

    Nicotine replacement products: You should start using these options on your Quit Day.

Ask your Aurora pharmacist for assistance choosing a product and for instructions on how to use it. Nicotine patches, gum and lozenges are all available without a prescription. Nicotine nasal spray and inhaler both require a prescription for use.

  • Other prescription medications:
    • Bupropion (Zyban® or Wellbutrin®): This medication helps to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It is often started one to two weeks before your Quit Day.
    • Varenicline (Chantix®): This medication works at the same receptor as nicotine in the brain. It is often started one month before your Quit Day, and typically taken for 12 weeks.

7. Non-medication options: If medication treatments aren’t for you, there are other options that have successful results.Some people can give up cold turkey. Others use a gradual withdrawal approach.

If you prefer technology, consider a gadget called the QuitKey®. It’s a handheld computer that tracks your smoking habits and creates a personalized plan to help you gradually smoke less by following its recommendations. Find out more at

We recommend discussing your options with a health care provider before you get started.


Some Helpful Resources:

There are plenty of resources for successfully quitting. How can you ensure your success? By having your friends and family behind you!

An important key to success is knowing that you are in charge of quitting. Nothing happens until you decide it.

If you don’t have a provider you trust, you can find a qualified provider online. Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit organization.

We wish you success with your plan to quit smoking!


  1. CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Quitting Smoking. Updated 2/1/2017. Accessed 11/16/17.
  2. World Health Organization. Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI) Fact sheet about health benefits of smoking cessation. Accessed 11/16/17.


Meet the Author

Hanna Dehnert, PharmD is a PGY1 Community-Based Pharmacy Resident at Aurora.

Read more posts from this author

The information presented in this site is intended for general information and educational purposes. It is not intended to replace the advice of your own physician. Contact your physician if you believe you have a health problem.

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