Give yourself the best chance.
The unfortunate fact is that most people who try to stop smoking do not succeed. The good news is that planning, using medication, obtaining support from others, and using skills to manage smoking situations and urges to smoke will dramatically increase your likelihood of succeeding. We recommend the kitchen sink approach -- throw everything you can into becoming tobacco free.
Be clear about your reasons to become tobacco free â€“ write them down. Make a plan for your quit attempt. It is useful to work with one of the many resources that can help you plan such as the becomeanex.org website, a local telephone quitline, speaking to your health care provider, or working in person with a tobacco counselor.
Review your past successes. Thinking about what you did in the past to stop, if even only for a day, can help your current quit attempt. Use medication. Talk with your health care provider or buy over-the-counter nicotine replacement and use it. The 7 medications proven to help people quit smoking are safe, and using them will increase your odds of quitting. Recruit support, the more the better. Tell your friends you are quitting and let them know how they can be helpful, arrange for professional support, and keep blogging and talking to others on-line.
And keep at it.
Dr. Richard D. Hurt is an internationally recognized expert on tobacco dependence. A native of Murray, Kentucky, he joined Mayo Clinic in 1976 and is now a Professor of Medicine at its College of Medicine. In 1988, he founded the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center and since then its staff has treated over 33,000 patients for tobacco dependence. Send your questions directly to Dr. Hurt at AskTheExpert@becomeanex.org