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Steps to Quitting Tobacco/Nicotine

If you are thinking about quitting smoking, vaping, or using other tobacco or nicotine products, you are in the right place.

Not sure if you are ready to quit?  That’s okay. Knowing the resources available to you when you do want to quit can be helpful. Explore the information on these pages or take a short quiz to see if you are ready for the first step.

Tried to quit before?  With every attempt, you learn more about what works for you. Most people try several times before they quit for good! And you’re two times as likely to quit with support.

Table of Contents

Ready to quit?

  • Contact your healthcare provider. Your doctor, nurse practitioner, or other healthcare provider can assist you with medicines to help you quit. They can also refer you to 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
  • Check with your health insurance plan. Your health insurance should cover medicines and coaching to help you quit. MassHealth does.
  • Connect with 1-800-QUIT-NOW (the Massachusetts Quitline) for FREE support
    • 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669)
      • Interpretation services provided in 200 languages
    • Spanish: 1-866-DÉJELO-YA (1-866-335-3569)
    • Deaf? Use VRS or for TTY, dial (711) / Hard of Hearing? Call directly or for TTY, dial (711) / Spanish call (866) 930-9252
  • Connect with the Asian Smokers’ Quitline for materials and phone counseling:
    • Chinese: 1-800-838-1987
    • Korean: 1-800-556-5564
    • Vietnamese: 1-800-778-8840

Make a plan

  1. Write down your reason. Everyone has different reasons for quitting - visualize what you want and look at your reasons often during your quit journey.
  2. Pick a date you will stop using nicotine completely. A date two to four weeks in the future works well — it gives you time to plan and prepare.
  3. Use your experience. Most people try several times before they quit for good. Relapses happen. The good news is that with every attempt, you learn more about what works for you. What worked well before? What will you do differently this time?
  4. Know your triggers. Triggers can be times, places, people, or feelings that make you want to use nicotine. Driving, coffee breaks, and boredom are often triggers. What are some ways you can plan to avoid or deal with them? You may also live in a community with many tobacco and nicotine retailers and advertisements around you. This can make it harder to avoid triggers.
  5. Prepare for withdrawal symptoms. When you stop using nicotine, you may feel sick or nervous because your body is craving nicotine. You can take medicines to help you with these symptoms.

Get more support

Besides your healthcare providers, let other trusted people know you are quitting and ask for their support and encouragement. This may be your family, friends, counselors, faith leaders, co-workers, and other support groups.

Stressful events such as losing a job, problems with housing, or experiencing daily discrimination in your life can impact your quit journey. Much of this is out of your control. Keep your support network close by for help. You can also reach out to information lines like Mass 2-1-1 for community resources to navigate these stressful situations.

Additional resources for quitting

For adults:

For youth:

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