The End of Cigarettes

Get help making every effort to kick the habit for good.

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Ask a former smoker how they stopped and you will probably hear that they came armed with a plan. Even if you have tried to quit before, and slipped, you can still quit. You just keep trying until it sticks.

So how do you get an action plan in place? You need to be ready, organized, committed and willing to ask for help. Come up with a list of your reasons to quit: your health, your kids, financial concerns, embarrassment, because Dr. Oz said so. Set a quit date and start a new life without cigarettes.

Here’s a brief overview of Dr. Oz's "Kick the Habit" plan.

Day 1–27


Take a pledge to stop and post it where you can see it. During this phase, you’re going to examine your smoking patterns and triggers and plan to do something else in its place. Start a craving journal so you can see what you are doing right before you light up. Exercise is the best replacement. Walking 30 minutes everyday will not only moderate some of the weight you might gain when you stop, but also provide structure and establish discipline. Pick a support person—someone dependable who can encourage you—and let him or her know you did your walk.Report in to the same person every day.

Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss any stop-smoking aids. There are non-nicotine medications like Wellbutrin, Zyban or Chantix that require a prescription and nicotine replacement aids that are available over-the-counter; both can improve the likelihood of success. Follow the directions for use carefully. In some cases, you may need to begin taking medications a few weeks before your quit date.

Think about what you can do if you have a craving and buy anything you might need. This includes healthy snacks, gum and rubber bands – something for your cigarette-seeking hands to play with during cravings. 

Day 30


This is your quit date, the first day of your life without cigarettes. You will throw out all tobacco products, cigarette lighters, and ashtrays from your car, home and office. Anything that you used when you were a smoker goes in the trash as well as anything that even reminds you of smoking. Wave goodbye.

Continue the walking plan and report in to your support person daily.

Day 31–45


Continue to take any medication as prescribed and nicotine replacement aids (patch, gum or inhaler) that you have decided to use to stop smoking. Continue the walking plan and report in to your support person daily.

Day 46–180


If you are taking prescription medications and nicotine replacement aids you may be able to cut down. Check in with your doctor and let him or her know how you are doing. The best way to begin removing yourself is to slowly taper off.


Continue the walking plan and report in to your support person daily.

Day 181–The rest of your life


If you have gotten this far it is safe to say you are officially a non-smoker. Congratulations! Keep exercising and living a healthy lifestyle.

There are a few online stop smoking Web sites that you can use to monitor your success. For more information visit www.smokefree.gov