Staying Quit

Blog Post created by dr_hurt on Jul 7, 2011

Once you have stopped smoking, it is important to stay an Ex-Smoker.  There is not any one way to remain smoke-free and you'll hear all kinds of tips from former smokers.  Some of these tips will be helpful and others will not and you have permission to take what works for you and leave the rest.  There are many support websites available online and you can browse them at your leisure.  The Mayo Clinic recommends www.BecomeAnEx.org but you may find others that are useful to you. 


Not everyone or everything is going to be equally supportive of your efforts.  YOU will have to be the final judge on what is helpful to you and what is not helpful to you.  Once you know what does help, you can kindly but assertively inform any not-so-helpful friends or family members that you would appreciate their assistance, and let them know specific ways in which they can be helpful.  You might want to participate in the BecomeAnEX community and help others through the early challenges of not smoking.


Be diligent when you are around other people who smoke or when you are drinking alcohol. These situations can lead to relapse even after a long time of not smoking.  Don’t heed the thought, “I can have just one’.  Having one cigarette can set off a cascade of reactions in your brain that can bring you back to daily smoking.  Once you stop smoking, enjoy your health, enjoy your freedom, and stay tobacco free.  Every day, week or month that you remain smoke-free are very important so take it in time increments that make sense to you.


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 more than 50,000 patients for tobacco dependence. Send your questions directly to Dr. Hurt at AskTheExpert@becomeanex.org