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ARCHIVED - Help on Quitting Smoking

Warning This content was archived on June 24 2013.

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Smoking cessation tips

There are many ways to quit smoking and for some it's simple. But many people need help and there are many resources available to help people quit smoking for good. The following information may provide you with useful tips on how to get started.

Methods of quitting

1) Toll-free telephone quit-smoking lines

Quit-lines offer support from trained cessation specialists to help smokers quit, free of charge. They provide support for family and friends who want to help a smoker quit and you can order self-help materials as well. Please see the toll-free quit lines available across Canada, by province.

2) Nicotine replacements and medications for quitting smoking include the following:

  • Nicotine patch;
  • Nicotine chewing pieces (gum);
  • Bupropion (an antidepressant to help people with nicotine withdrawal);
  • Nicotine inhalers; and
  • Nicotine nasal spray

3) Community-based cessation programs or counselling services

Contact your health care provider or nearest community health representative to locate available quit smoking counselling/support programs in your area.

4) Self-help materials and manuals or unaided attempts to quit

5) Internet QuitNet programs

Internet quit smoking programs provide interactive, web-based support services to individuals who want to quit smoking and may desire support through the internet. Users may browse the site for information about quitting or register to gain access to Next link will take you to another Web site QuitNet's set of tailored support features.

5 steps to quitting

Studies have shown that these five steps will help you quit and quit for good. You have the best chances of quitting if you use them together.

1. Get Ready

  • Set a quit date
  • Change your environment
  • Get rid of ALL cigarettes and ashtrays in your home, car, and place of work
    • Don't let people smoke in your home
    • Review your past attempts to quit. Think about what worked and what did not.
  • Once you quit, don't smoke-NOT EVEN A PUFF!

2. Get Support and Encouragement

Studies have shown that you have a better chance of being successful if you have help. You can get support in many ways:

  • Tell your family, friends, and co-workers that you are going to quit and want their support. Ask them not to smoke around you or leave cigarettes out.
  • Talk to your health care provider (for example, doctor, dentist, nurse, pharmacist, psychologist, or smoking counsellor).
  • Get individual, group, or telephone counselling. The more counselling you have, the better your chances are of quitting.
    Programs are given at local hospitals and health centers. Call your local health authority for information about programs in your area.

3. Learn New Skills and Behaviours

  • Try to distract yourself from urges to smoke. Talk to someone, go for a walk, or get busy with a task.
  • When you first try to quit, change your routine. Use a different route to work. Drink tea instead of coffee. Eat breakfast in a different place.
  • Do something to reduce your stress. Take a hot bath, exercise, or read a book.
  • Plan something enjoyable to do every day.
  • Drink a lot of water and other fluids.

4. Get Medication and Use It Correctly

  • Medications can help you stop smoking and lessen the urge to smoke.
    • Bupropion SR-Available by prescription.
    • Nicotine gum-Available over-the-counter.
    • Nicotine patch-Available by prescription and over-the-counter.
  • Ask your health care provider for advice and carefully read the information on the package.
  • All of these medications will more or less double your chances of quitting and quitting for good.
  • Everyone who is trying to quit may benefit from using a medication. If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, nursing, under age 18, smoking fewer than 10 cigarettes per day, or have a medical condition, talk to your doctor or other health care provider before taking medications.

5. Be Prepared for Relapse or Difficult Situations

Most relapses occur within the first 3 months after quitting. Don't be discouraged if you start smoking again. Remember, most people try several times before they finally quit. Here are some difficult situations to watch for:

  • Alcohol. Avoid drinking alcohol. Drinking lowers your chances of success.
  • Other Smokers. Being around smoking can make you want to smoke.
  • Weight Gain. Many smokers will gain weight when they quit, usually less than 10 pounds. Eat a healthy diet and stay active.
    • Don't let weight gain distract you from your main goal-quitting smoking. Some quit-smoking medications may help delay weight gain.
  • Bad Mood or Depression. There are a lot of ways to improve your mood other than smoking.
  • If you are having problems with any of these situations, talk to your doctor or other health care provider.

Cessation resources

Some of the following hyperlinks are to sites of organizations or other entities that are not subject to the Next link will take you to another Web site Official Languages Act. The material found there is therefore in the language(s) used by the sites in question.

Next link will take you to another Web site  Tobacco-A Cultural Approach to Addiction and Recovery for Aboriginal Youth
A manual for the smoker seeking help in recovering from tobacco addiction, for Adolescents and young adults, published by the Nechi Institute

Next link will take you to another Web site  Tobacco Addiction and Recovery - A Spiritual Journey - Help for Smokers
Aboriginal adults and adolescents. A manual for the smoker seeking help in recovering from tobacco addiction.

"On the Road to Quitting"
A Step by Step Guide to Quitting Smoking

Next link will take you to another Web site  Helping Smokers Change
A Resource Pack for Training Health Professionals