Let’s Start With the Things That Have Stopped You From Quitting Before

Quitting smoking is the single best thing a person can do to improve the length and quality of his or her life. You might know this already. But like many people, you probably still have mixed feelings about giving up smoking. These doubts—or roadblocks to quitting—can really get in the way.

Although your instinct might be to push away and try to ignore any doubts you have about quitting, it’s much better to address these obstacles right now—at the start of planning for your Quit Day. When you face the reasons you still smoke head-on, the truth is easier to see. Smoking is never the best course of action. There is always a better alternative.

Navigating Your Roadblocks to Quitting

Select the things you think might get in your way as you try to quit smoking. This course can help you get around each one.

“I’ve already cut down—I don’t need to quit.”
Any amount of smoking hurts your health, while quitting immediately begins to improve it. It’s great you are smoking less, but it’s time to finish the job and quit for good. This course offers a step-by-step way to do just that.
“There’s too much going on in my life right now. I’ll get too tense.”
A cigarette may seem like it makes you feel better, but it’s just temporary relief from the stress caused by your need for nicotine. Smoking actually increases heart rate and blood pressure. As part of this course, you’ll learn ways to find true relaxation by practicing stress-relief techniques and positive thinking.
“My friends, loved ones or co-workers will make it hard for me to quit.”
Many people smoke more around friends and family and it can be harder to stop if the people around you smoke. This course will help you learn how to get people to support you, and how to say no if someone offers you a cigarette.
“I wouldn’t know what to do without a cigarette.”
If you are a person who likes the feel of a cigarette and would be lost without one, you’ll find tips in this course for replacing smoking with better options. When you see how good you feel, you will no longer miss the sensation you get from smoking.
“I’ll gain weight.”
Some people do gain weight when they quit smoking. But the average gain is only about 8 to 10 pounds. This amount of extra weight is much better for you than smoking. This course includes advice for how to limit or avoid weight gain when quitting and how healthy eating can be a great long-term strategy for staying quit.
“I’ve tried before—I just don’t know if I can quit.”
Many people have to try a few times before they quit for good. Think of your previous tries as “practice quits.” Then use this course to make a new plan for staying smokefree for good.

Don’t think of stopping smoking as giving something up. It’s a positive act that lets you take control of your life!

Building an Even Stronger Case for Quitting

As you overcome your own roadblocks, remember that quitting smoking comes with very real and measurable benefits that last for years.

20 minutes after quitting

Your heart rate drops to a normal level.

After 12 hours

The level of carbon monoxide (a poisonous gas) in your blood drops to normal.

In 2 weeks to 3 months

Your risk of having a heart attack begins to drop and your lung function improves.

In 1 to 9 months

Coughing and shortness of breath begin to improve.

After 1 year

Your added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's.

After 5 to 15 years

Your risk of having a stroke is reduced to that of a nonsmoker’s.

After 10 years

Your risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a smoker's. Your risk of getting cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decreases.

After 15 years

Your risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a nonsmoker.



Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2004.

Naming Your Reasons for Quitting

While improved health and wellbeing are huge benefits of quitting smoking, there are other reasons people quit too. Give some serious thought to your own reasons for quitting now. You'll increase your motivation to quit and to stay smokefree.

Need some help getting started? Let Paula's real-life story inspire you.

Your Reasons for Quitting

Make a list! What things matter most to you about quitting?

Select the reasons you want to quit and add to your list or enter your own unique reason.

I want my health to be better. I want my family to be healthier. I don’t want to smell like smoke or have bad breath anymore. I want to show respect for my body. I want to feel better and have more energy. I want to cough less. I want to save money. I want to set a good example for my family.
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Have confidence in the program and in yourself. Say “I can quit smoking” out loud right now, and then say it again and again as much as you can leading up to Quit Day! The more you say it, the easier it will be to achieve.

Bringing It All Together

You have almost completed Session 1. As you finish up, we hope you’re finding it a little easier to believe that not only is quitting smoking possible, it is the right choice for you. Remember:

If you start having doubts, go back and look at your Reasons for Quitting. It’s important to keep in mind these reasons always outweigh the short-term discomforts.

If you are having trouble with one of your roadblocks, don’t ignore it. Get help! Call the Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA, or post a message in the Freedom From Smoking® Community.

Come back and start Session 2 within the next day or two. This will help you build momentum and begin to see how you can quit if you make a plan and follow the steps given.

True or False? It’s better to just ignore your doubts and roadblocks to quitting. All that matters is being ready to quit True False This is false. Not only is it okay to have doubts, it’s important to address your doubts in the lead-up to Quit Day. If you are still feeling unsure or your doubts weren’t discussed in this session, try calling the Lung HelpLine for advice at 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872). There are many benefits to becoming a nonsmoker. What are physical benefits you experience within the first 24 hours of quitting? Your heart rate and the level of carbon monoxide in your blood drop to normal levels. Your risk of having a heart attack begins to drop and your lung function improves. Coughing and shortness of breath begin to improve. As soon as you quit smoking, your body begins a series of healing changes that continue for years! Within a day, your heart rate and the level of carbon monoxide in your blood drop to normal. Although it takes more than a day, you will soon see your risk of having a heart attack begin to drop, your lung function improve and your coughing and shortness of breath begin to improve. True or False? You should refer to your Reasons for Quitting often and update them as needed to keep them current. True False This is true. Referring to your Reasons for Quitting helps keep the big picture in mind. There is always more to gain by quitting smoking than by continuing to smoke.

Before returning to the Dashboard, it might be valuable to go back and review this session to make sure you understand the key points. If you haven’t done so already, now is also a great time to visit the Freedom From Smoking® Community. You can let the group know you are on your way to becoming smokefree and post any questions or concerns about the experience. We recommend you start Session 2: Exploring Addiction within the next day or two. The information you’ll learn about quit-smoking medicine is time-sensitive in getting ready for Quit Day.

Before returning to the Dashboard, it might be valuable to go back and review this session to make sure you understand the key points. If you haven’t done so already, now is also a great time to visit the Freedom From Smoking® Community. You can let the group know you are on your way to becoming smokefree and post any questions or concerns about the experience. We recommend you start Session 2: Exploring Addiction within the next day or two. The information you’ll learn about quit-smoking medicine is time-sensitive in getting ready for Quit Day.

Great Job! You have reached the end of Session 1. If you haven’t done so already, now is a great time to visit the Freedom From Smoking® Community. You can let the group know you are on your way to becoming smokefree and post any questions or concerns about the experience. We recommend you start Session 2: Exploring Addiction within the next day or two. The information you’ll learn about quit-smoking medicine is time-sensitive in getting ready for Quit Day.

Great Job! You have reached the end of Session 1. If you haven’t done so already, now is a great time to visit the Freedom From Smoking® Community. You can let the group know you are on your way to becoming smokefree and post any questions or concerns about the experience. We recommend you start Session 2: Exploring Addiction within the next day or two. The information you’ll learn about quit-smoking medicine is time-sensitive in getting ready for Quit Day.

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