Planning and support can help you quit for good. The tips below will help you continue to move forward along the road to being smoke, tobacco, or vape-free.
Deciding to Quit
- Everyone has their own reasons for quitting smoking. Remind yourself of them every day. Use this worksheet to help inspire your healthier lifestyle.
- Becoming completely tobacco-free, including smoking, vaping or other tobacco use, is the best thing you can do for your health. Learn more benefits of quitting by visiting our health benefits and savings calculator pages.
- Quitting smoking is hard, but it’s not impossible. The keys to success worksheet will help you get ready.
- Tobacco treatment medications offer relief from symptoms of withdrawal and can double the chances of successfully quitting. Through the Maine QuitLink you may access free quit medications, including the nicotine patch, gum, or lozenges. These tools can be helpful for dealing with cravings. Learn more about medications.
- “Practice” quitting before your start date by making small changes: not smoking in your home or car, delay your morning cigarette or the cigarette you have after dinner by doing something different (try the 4 D’s), and try out any quit aids such as nicotine replacement therapy so you know what to expect.
- Prepare your environment to set yourself up for success! Get rid of your cigarettes, ash trays, lighters, vape pods and anything else that reminds you of smoking/vaping. Clean out your car, stock up on healthy substitutes to keep your mouth busy (sunflower seeds, fresh veggies, cinnamon sticks, and a water bottle).
- In addition to working with your Maine QuitLink Coach over the phone, you can enroll in free text message support. These programs will provide free daily test messages to support your quit journey.
- SmokeFreeTXT is for adults who are ready to quit smoking. This program is also available in Spanish.
- SmokeFreeVET is for veterans who are ready to quit. This program is also available in Spanish.
- SmokeFreeMOM is for pregnant women who are ready to cut back on cigarettes and quit smoking.
- DipFreeTXT is for adults ready to quit dip.
Your Start Date
- Your first day without cigarettes can be difficult but you can get through it. Remember to stick with your plan.
- You won’t be able to avoid all cravings and triggers but you can be prepared for them. Download our cravings tip card for 10 ways to help resist the urge to smoke or use tobacco when a craving strikes.
Getting through the First Few Weeks
- Quitting is difficult – take it one minute, one hour, one day at a time. During the first few weeks try to stay positive and remember why you want to quit.
- If you have been or are a regular smoker, smoking has become linked with nearly everything you do. Consider common triggers, like stress or caffeine, and how to address them with the know your triggers worksheet.
- It is common to want to reach for a cigarette when you are feeling stressed. Having a plan in place for coping with stress in a different way will increase your odds of staying tobacco/vape free. Get more tips for handling stress at SmokeFree.gov.
- A slip is different than a relapse. A slip might be “just a puff or two” or even a couple of cigarettes. A relapse means going back to smoking regularly. Slips are a common part of quitting as you learn to live life without tobacco. Think of a slip as a temporary setback and an opportunity to learn. What was going on when you picked up that cigarette? How can you avoid it from happening next time? Don’t be hard on yourself and keep moving forward. You have not failed and you do not need to start over. A slip isn’t an excuse to go back to smoking regularly. Prepare yourself to recover from slips and avoid a relapse by thinking about how you will handle triggers and cravings in the future
- It is important to recognize and avoid high-risk situations where you know you will be tempted to smoke. If unavoidable, have a plan in place to cope.
- TIP: Many ex-smokers share that getting through the first year and each season comes with some challenges. Think about the seasons ahead and activities you may have associated with tobacco. What will you do to cope?
- It is normal to still think about smoking, vaping, or tobacco at times. Thinking about it doesn’t mean you have failed and it doesn’t give you permission to smoke. You can “talk back” to those thoughts of smoking by reminding yourself of what you have gained since quitting.
- Feel free to contact the Maine QuitLink to get support if cigarettes are suddenly on your mind and/or to share how well you are doing!
Celebrate Being Tobacco-Free
- Congratulations on being tobacco-free. Take time to celebrate your accomplishment!
- Remember to use the tools that helped you to be successful to deal with future triggers and cravings.
- Periodically reward yourself for being tobacco-free.
- Quitting isn’t easy, but you did it. Share your story with others about how you quit.