Preparing To Quit

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Preparing To Quit
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The First 2 Weeks
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Identify why you smoke

Smoking addiction is half physical and half psychological so when you quit smoking not only do you have to fight against your body’s physical addiction to nicotine but you also have to try to break a powerful habit.

Before you quit take a few days to analyze your smoking routines so you can discover what are your ‘triggers’ and ‘cues’ for smoking. For example, you might smoke when you feel stressed, when you’re at the pub or when you’re with a certain group of friends.

Write these triggers down for each cigarette you smoke in a day. You will need to understand your habit (and your weak spots) before you can break it:

  1. When do you smoke?
  2. Where do you smoke?
  3. Who tends to be with you when you smoke?
  4. How do you feel? (e.g. confident, worried, more relaxed)
  5. How much do you feel you need each cigarette on a scale of 1 to 5? (e.g. in the morning or down the pub ‘5’ but when out shopping ‘2’)


Identify why you want to quit

Write down all the most important reasons you want to quit. Keep them close to you, you might need to look at them when you next feel the temptation to have a cigarette.


Decide how you are going to quit

Cold Turkey

This is the most successful way to quit. It’s a fresh start. One day you you’re a smoker the next day you’re not.

Cutting Down

Everyone is different and some people who are extremely dependent upon nicotine find this the only way they can quit. If you must use this method set a timetable for cutting down (e.g. by 5 cigarettes a day) to zero and stick to it. This method can make withdrawal symptoms worse and it’s much easier to lose your will to quit.


Set a date

Whatever method you choose, pick a specific day to quit on that’s not too far away and plan a day of activities for that day that have nothing to do with smoking.



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Last modified: August 04, 2000