The Quitter’s Journey: How to leave tobacco behind for good

Part 1 of a 3-part Series

Mature man standing in front of open doorNearly 7 out of 10 adult cigarette smokers in the United States say they want to quit completely. Are you among them? There’s no doubt that quitting tobacco is a challenging journey, whether you smoke, chew, or use e-cigarettes. The good news is you’re not alone, you can succeed, and the benefits to your health and life are so worth it. While everyone is different, there are proven strategies for each stage of the tobacco cessation journey – before, during, and after. Today we’ll look at things you can do to get ready for the big quit day.

Before – set the stage

Whether you’re 100% ready to kick the tobacco habit, or just thinking about it, knowledge is power. This is a good time to gather information and make a plan.

  • Get clear on your own personal reasons for quitting, and write them down. Do you want to be able to keep up with your kids on a hike? Maybe have more money for travel? Are you trying to get pregnant? Post the list on your fridge or somewhere you’ll see it every day. Need something to jolt you into action? Check out the CDC’s Tips from Former Smokers
  • Talk to your doctor, especially if you have health concerns or conditions. He or she can provide information and guidance for deciding the best way for you to quit.
  • Check with your health insurance about your plan’s benefits. Many insurers will pay for smoking cessation programs and/or nicotine replacement medication. The award-winning Quit For Life program is covered by most PacificSource medical plans.
  • Decide on your quit method. While going “cold turkey” works for some, counseling and medication are both proven to be more effective for treating tobacco dependence—and combining them is even more effective than using either one alone.
  • Talk with friends and family and ask for their support.
  • Set a quit date. The Great American Smokeout (third Thursday of November) is one option.

We’d like to hear from you! What are your reasons for wanting to quit tobacco? What method do you plan to use? Please tell us in the comments below.

Next up: Thursday, November 2, we’ll explore the “During” stage – those first few weeks after quitting that can be the roughest. Check back with us then, or follow this blog to get an email reminder when it’s posted.



About the author: Kelly Eastlund, a member of PacificSource’s Marketing Communications team, gave up cigarettes more than 25 years ago after three quit attempts. She lists a family history of heart disease as one of her top reasons.



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