Quit Smoking/ Tobacco

Current smokers have a 2 to 4 times increased risk of stroke compared with nonsmokers or those who have quit for more than 10 years. So now, you might be wondering and asking, “What if I decided to quit?”

A close-up of a woman breaking a cigarette.
If you would like support to quit smoking or vaping, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW to talk with trained professionals.

So, let’s say you’ve decided to quit smoking, vaping or using any form of tobacco. Great decision! It’s one of the best things you can do to improve your health and add years to your life. It’s not easy — but you can do it.

Get ready to stop smoking and vaping for good with these five steps — taking one step at a time:


1 Set your “Quit Day” and take a No Smoking or Vaping pledge.

Choose a date within the next seven days when you’ll stop using tobacco products. Make a pledge or commitment in front of people who will support you on your path to quitting. Use the time until your Quit Day to prepare and to gradually cut down on the number of cigarettes you smoke or how much you vape or use other tobacco products.

2 Choose your method for quitting.

You can quit smoking in three ways. You can choose one or use them in combination — whatever you think will work best for you.

  • “Cold turkey.” Stop smoking or vaping all at once on your Quit Day. This method works best for some people because it doesn’t drag out the quitting process.
  • Cut down the number of cigarettes you smoke each day or how many times you vape until you stop completely. For example, if you smoke 20 cigarettes each day, cut down to 10 per day for two to three days. Use a calendar to keep track. By your Quit Day, stop smoking completely.
  • Smoke only part of each cigarette, reducing the amount until you stop smoking completely. Use a calendar to keep track. On your Quit Day, stop smoking completely.

3 Talk with your doctor.

Decide if you’ll need medications or other help to successfully quit.

4 Make a plan for your Quit Day and afterward.

Have healthy snacks available, for example:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Air-popped popcorn
  • Sugar-free mints and chewing gum

Find enjoyable ways to fill the time when you may be tempted to smoke:

  • Go to a movie.
  • Work out or go to the gym.
  • Visit non-smoking friends.
  • Take a walk.
  • Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea.
  • Try a new hobby that occupies your hands, such as painting, playing an instrument, woodworking or knitting.

Get rid of every cigarette, vape, match, lighter, ashtray and any other tobacco product in your home, office and car.

5 Quit tobacco for good on your Quit Day!


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How to Quit Tobacco Fact Sheet