It’s Time to Turn Your Preparation Into Action

Today will actually be a day of both reflection and action. To start, take some time to think about how far you’ve already come. Think about your Reasons for Quitting and use them to keep your motivation high. Think about who in your support group you will turn to for help today and in the next few days and weeks. Acknowledge the feelings you are having, even if they are anxious or negative ones.

Today Can Change Your Life

Quitting smoking is a decision that has the power to improve your life in many positive ways. While the experience is different for everyone, here is one story of trial and success to help inspire you to embrace this moment for yourself.

Watch as Alex shares his story.

Your Feelings on Quit Day

Are you happy, excited, mad, indifferent or a little of all of these things? Take some time now to think about how you are feeling about Quit Day.

Which emotions best reflect how you are feeling right now? Select all that apply.

Anger. This is going to be hard. Sad. I think I’m going to miss smoking Scared. I don’t know if I can do this. A little numb. I don’t feel much. Relieved. It’s definitely time for this change. Excited. I’ve been looking forward to this day. Confident. I believe I can quit for good. Strong. I’m taking back control of my life.

It is normal to feel some negative emotions on Quit Day. Smoking has been a part of your life for a long time. It may be hard to leave it behind and you may be anxious about how you will cope. Think about your Reasons for Quitting and resolve that you can do it. Even if it’s uncomfortable at first, it will be worth it!

Fill in one of your most important reasons to quit below. You can achieve this, even if it’s hard at first!

Quit Day is a positive step forward. We are glad you feel that way too! Think about the things you are most looking forward to now that you are quitting smoking. Whether it’s feeling better, getting rid of the hassles and costs of smoking or being a better role model for the children in your life, keep picturing yourself enjoying the change and you’ll stay motivated to quit for good.

Fill in a few of the things you are looking forward to below. You can achieve them, even if it’s hard at first!

It is normal to feel mixed emotions on Quit Day. Smoking has been a part of your life for a long time. It may be hard to leave it behind and you may be anxious about how you will cope. Think about your Reasons for Quitting and some of the positive changes you are looking forward to. Whether it’s feeling better, getting rid of the hassles and costs of smoking or being a better role model for the children in your life, keep picturing yourself enjoying the change and you’ll stay motivated to quit for good.

Fill in a few of the positive changes you are looking forward to below. You can achieve them, even if it’s hard at first!

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Relaxation for Positive Thinking

Whatever your emotions are about quitting, Quit Day can be stressful. Before you move on to the rest of the session, let’s pause to learn how Relaxation and Positive Thinking can be used to overcome urges to smoke. After you listen here, visit the Resources section to download the MP3 file for use anytime and to find other relaxation exercises.

Listen

Now, let’s talk action. When you finish Session 5 today, you’ll be taking a new path. You will be a former smoker! It’s what you’ve been preparing for all along.

  • In Session 1, you learned the roadblocks to quitting can be bypassed and that your Reasons for Quitting are far more important.
  • In Session 2, you started to explore ways to break your smoking addiction.
  • In Session 3, you began looking at strategies to increase your motivation and get in the right mindset to quit for good.
  • In Session 4, you planned how to be ready for and overcome urges.

Today, you’ll put everything you learned into action.

Making a Break From Smoking

Use this checklist to make your break from smoking official. You can mark each item as it's done.

If you haven’t already, get rid of all the tobacco products, ashtrays, lighters and matches from your home and car. If you are using a nicotine replacement therapy or another quit-smoking medication, start taking it today. Have a plan for how you will spend the rest of the day to stay busy and keep your mind off smoking. Say it out loud, “I do not smoke anymore.” Print PDF

Make sure you use any quit-smoking medication exactly as directed and for as long as directed. Check with your healthcare provider, pharmacist or the Lung HelpLine if you have any questions.


Lung HelpLine

Rewarding Yourself for Milestones

As you begin life as a nonsmoker, give yourself credit for having the courage to change. Make sure you follow through with the reward you planned for Quit Day (refer to your Quit Day Reward on the Dashboard if you need a reminder). But don’t stop there!

By continuing to reward yourself for staying smokefree, it will help you stay committed to the change.

Count Your Savings

One of the rewards of not smoking is that you’ll save money. A lot of it! Use the calculator below to figure out just how much you were spending on tobacco. You can use this money for some additional rewards or just enjoy knowing the money is no longer going up in smoke!

On average, how many cigarettes did you smoke each day?

On average, how much does a pack of cigarettes cost?

Start over

Count Your Smokefree Moments

It's also motivational to keep track of how long you’ve been smokefree after Quit Day. We’ll help count the days for you on your Dashboard. But you may also want to keep track on your own.

The Calendar Scorecard (also included in the Resources section) is a great place to record your progress. Print it out and put a check mark or smiley face in the circle for each time period you don’t smoke. The first few days are the hardest, so you’ll get to check a circle for every three hours you go without smoking. Then, you’ll mark every six hours smokefree, every 12 hours smokefree and finally every day you don’t smoke. Trust us, it feels great to see your scorecard fill up.

Print scorecard

Your Reward Plan for Milestones

Research shows when you plan rewards you have a better chance of staying quit. Rewards don’t have to cost anything but they should be immediate and specific.

For this activity you’ll choose a few things you can look forward to. These rewards will mark three milestones in your journey.

Here are some reward ideas to get you started:

  • Stay in bed for an extra hour.
  • Download new music or a new game.
  • Get tickets to a sporting event.
  • Get a new outfit or hairstyle.
  • Start a new book.
  • Buy some walking or running shoes.
  • Try a new restaurant.
  • See a movie.
  • Get a massage.

Fill in your rewards here:

Remember, you can view this activity from the Dashboard to see the rewards you selected when you hit each milestone.

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Some Rewards Just Come Naturally

As you learned in Session 1, as soon as you quit smoking your body begins a series of healing or recovery changes. These are rewards you’ll enjoy for years to come! We thought you’d like to see them again on Quit Day.

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.

After you finish this session and tackle Quit Day, you may find yourself challenged by some urges to smoke. Remember, this is what you’ve been preparing for. Use the tools you learned during the Getting Ready part of this course.

  • Refer to your Quit Plan. If you practiced the alternatives to smoking listed there, keep using them if they are working. If they don’t seem to be working, try using the Three A's to revise your plan.
  • Think of your most important reason for quitting. Say it out loud in front of a mirror if possible.
  • Call the Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or your support person. They are there to help.
  • If you run into a tough moment you hadn’t planned on, use the Four D's below.

Try the Four D's

Whenever an urge strikes, use the Four D's to fight back.

Delay

The urge to smoke will pass whether you smoke or not.

Deep breathe

Use the relaxation exercises you’ve learned.

Drink water

It can help you feel better naturally.

Do something

Take your mind off smoking. Doodle, play a game on your phone, flip a coin. Anything!

It will be easier if you can avoid your smoking triggers for a while. Today and for the next few weeks:

  • Spend time in places where people don’t smoke rather than in places where they do.
  • Limit your use of alcohol and caffeine.
  • Seek out the company of nonsmokers.

Remember even the most intense craving will pass in three to five minutes, whether you smoke or not.

Be Ready for Recovery

You may have some physical symptoms as your body adjusts to quitting. These can start within two hours, and generally peak between 24 and 48 hours after stopping smoking. Remember these key points:

You may have all of the symptoms, only some or even none.

These symptoms are positive signs of recovery.

All symptoms are temporary and usually last just a few days to four weeks.

If you are using a quit-smoking medication, it should help ease the symptoms. There are other things you can also try, which can be especially helpful if you are not using medication.

Coping With Physical Symptoms of Recovery

These are the most common symptoms experienced by people quitting smoking. Select each one for tips for feeling better.

For a cough, dry mouth or nasal drip...
Drink plenty of fluids or try cough drops.
For headaches...
Use over-the-counter pain relievers. Take a warm bath or shower.
For dizziness...
Take extra caution when rising from a lying or seated position. Move slowly.
For constipation, gas or stomach pain....
Drink lots of fluids. Add fiber (fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads and cereal) to your diet.
For hunger...
Drink water or low-calorie liquids. Be prepared with smart snacks, such as raw vegetables or popcorn (see Session 4 for more ideas).
For fatigue...
Get at least eight hours of sleep each night. Take naps if you need to. Exercise can help too.
For insomnia...
Avoid caffeine after 6 p.m. Take warm baths or do a relaxation exercise before bed.
For irritability...
Go for walks. Do a relaxation exercise.
For lack of concentration...
Plan your workload accordingly. Avoid extra stress as much as possible.

Bringing it All Together

After you leave this session and continue with Quit Day, try to enjoy a sense of excitement and accomplishment. Embrace your decision to quit but don’t be too hard on yourself if you struggle at times with negative feelings about the change you are making or the recovery symptoms you are experiencing.

For now, focus on today. Just get through today without smoking and tomorrow will take care of itself.

A new you starts now. Start thinking of yourself as a nonsmoker.

Tell family, friends and coworkers you have quit. Go post your milestone on the Freedom From Smoking® Community.

Which of the following strategies is proven to increase your chance of staying quit? Punishing yourself for smoking. Rewarding yourself for quitting. Quitting on a weekend. Research shows when you plan rewards you have a better chance of staying quit. So enjoy your Quit Day reward today and the rewards you planned for future milestones. It’s good to celebrate! True or False? Even the most intense urge to smoke will pass in three to five minutes, whether you smoke or not. True False This is true. So hang in there. Do something—anything—rather than give in to the urge to smoke and it will go away in just a few minutes. When it comes to physical symptoms of quitting, what is important to remember? All symptoms are positive signs of recovery. Symptoms are temporary and will get better after a few days or weeks. Both of these answers are correct. The uncomfortable symptoms you may experience after you quit smoking are really positive signs of recovery. These symptoms will go away as your body adjusts—usually in a few days to four weeks. In the meantime, there are steps you can take to ease the discomfort.

Before returning to the Dashboard, it might be valuable to go back and review this session to make sure you understand the key points.

We recommend you start Part 3: Staying Smokefree sometime in the next 48 hours. Session 6 will help get you through the first few days and weeks without smoking. If you slip and smoke a cigarette, don’t panic. Jump ahead to Session 7 for help with getting back on track. Then go back and complete Session 6 afterward. Congratulations and good luck until we see you again!

Before returning to the Dashboard, it might be valuable to go back and review this session to make sure you understand the key points.

We recommend you start Part 3: Staying Smokefree sometime in the next 48 hours. Session 6 will help get you through the first few days and weeks without smoking. If you slip and smoke a cigarette, don’t panic. Jump ahead to Session 7 for help with getting back on track. Then go back and complete Session 6 afterward. Congratulations and good luck until we see you again!

Great Job! We recommend you start Part 3: Staying Smokefree sometime in the next 48 hours.Session 6 will help get you through the first few days and weeks without smoking. If you slip and smoke a cigarette, don’t panic. Jump ahead to Session 7 for help with getting back on track. Then go back and complete Session 6 afterward. Congratulations and good luck until we see you again!

Great Job! We recommend you start Part 3: Staying Smokefree sometime in the next 48 hours. Session 6 will help get you through the first few days and weeks without smoking. If you slip and smoke a cigarette, don’t panic. Jump ahead to Session 7 for help with getting back on track. Then go back and complete Session 6 afterward. Congratulations and good luck until we see you again!

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