How to stick to your quit smoking plan

By: Jane Langille

Quitting smoking is a difficult journey because nicotine is a highly addictive drug. [1] If you have tried to quit before, you are not alone: almost half of Canadian smokers tried to quit in the last year and one third have tried more than once. [2]

Breaking the habit is the most important step you can take to live a longer, healthier life. The good news is, if you can make it six weeks without smoking, chances are good that you will butt out for good. [3]

Quit Smoking

Get Help. Call a quit coach on Health Canada’s toll-free quit line from anywhere in Canada at 1-866-366-3667 and get a personalized action plan. [4] Change your environment. Eliminate temptation by leaving the room and if you bought cigarettes, throw them away. If you have slipped up, try these tips to get back on track:

  • Keep on Track. Health Canada’s new Break It Off campaign includes a free mobile app, available for both iPhone and Android devices. [5]Whether you want to go cold turkey, or use nicotine patches or nicotine gum to help, the Break It Off app helps you work through temptations and connect with others trying to quit. [6]
  • Focus on the positive. Think about how you could already breathe easier after two weeks without a smoke.[7] As well, your wallet is getting larger: quitting a pack a day habit saves more than $3,285 a year. [8]
  • Talk to your doctor. There are effective prescription medications that can help you deal with cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

[1] Canadian Lung Association, see last section in table “you crave another cigarette: your brain is begging for another hit of nicotine, a highly addictive drug” http://www.lung.ca/protect-protegez/tobacco-tabagisme/quitting-cesser/withdrawal-sevrage_e.php

[2] Tobacco Use In Canada: Highlights, pg II, see Section II: Quitting Smoking , 2012, Quit Attempts and Success, bullet one http://www.tobaccoreport.ca/2014/TobaccoUseinCanada_2014.pdf

[3] Health Canada: Break It Off Tobacco Cessation, Slip-Ups, http://breakitoff.ca/stay-split-up/slip-ups/, see para. 2.

[4] See quitline number on home page for Break It Off, (napkin icon) http://breakitoff.ca/, also Stay Split up page, see point 2 at bottom about Quit Coach

[5] iPhone on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/break-it-off/id495228310?mt=8

Android on Google Play https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.corncrow.breakitoff&hl=en

[6] Top 3 quit methods people are using on the mobile app: http://breakitoff.ca/get-it-over-with/

[7] see After 2 weeks: Break It Off http://breakitoff.ca/stay-split-up/what-to-expect/

[8] Health Canada: On the road to quitting.  http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/alt_formats/pdf/pubs/tobac-tabac/orqa-svra/orqa-svra-eng.pdf, see page 54, bottom circle

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