The most effective way to quit tobacco is to use medicines and coaching support together. Keep Trying! It takes most smokers multiple attempts to quit for good. Here are a few main steps to follow:
To start, plan ahead.
- Pick a date to stop smoking as your quit date. Plan two to four weeks away.
- Use the time before your quit date to start making changes to your routine to help you handle withdrawal symptoms and triggers. Triggers are those certain times, places, people, or feelings that make you want to smoke.
Talk to your doctor and your health plan about quit-smoking medicines.
- Using quit-smoking medicines and coaching support together can triple your chances of quitting for good
- Many medicines help with withdrawal symptoms and are not addictive. Some, like the nicotine patch or gum, are available over the counter without a prescription.
- Call your health insurance plan to ask if it covers the cost of medicine and coaching to help you stop smoking
- For example, MassHealth covers FDA-approved stop-smoking medicines and coaching
Call the Massachusetts Smokers’ Helpline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free support and advice to help you quit.
- The Helpline provides free and confidential coaching over the phone in English and Spanish, and translation for other languages
- You can call for confidential one-on-one support, to find out about in-person coaching sessions or stop-smoking groups in your area, to receive advice on medications, and how to find out if your insurance covers quit smoking services
- You can now sign up on a computer or smartphone! The Helpline now offers online services. You can enroll online to get help with quit planning, and quit progress tracking through the Helpline website. You can also receive motivational text messages, emails, or instant messages, as well as appointment reminders.
For healthcare providers
- Encouraging your patients to quit smoking is one of the most important things you can do as a healthcare professional
- Refer patients to QuitWorks, a free, evidence-based referral service that connects patients with phone-based coaching through the Massachusetts Smokers’ Helpline to help them stop smoking