Diabetes Planned Visit Notebook

36.5 Smoking—Is This the Right Time to Quit?

Summa Health System developed this fact sheet for patients who smoke tobacco. Care providers give it to patients during diabetes planned visits, and it is part of the Diabetes Planned Visit Notebook.

Smoking: Is This the Right Time to Quit?

Family Medicine Center of Akron, Summa Health System

Is This the Right Time to Quit?

You promised yourself that if you really wanted to quit smoking, you would. You know all the reasons why you should quit, but you have to be ready to do it—for you.

You are the best judge of when the time is right for you. You might be uncertain. it won't be easy. But with commitment, the right attitude, and the methods listed below, you can be off to a good start. Why not give it a try?

You Are Not Alone.

Over one million people each year make the decision and successfully quit smoking. Here are some of their tips that can help you:

  • Set a quit date and stick to it.
  • Get the support and understanding of your family, friends, and co-workers.
  • Get rid of all tobacco products and ashtrays.

How Can I Quit?

You have heard a lot about different ways to quit. Experts say you have the best chance of quitting if you use these proven methods together:

Use nicotine replacement therapy. This means the nicotine patch, gum, lozenge, or nasal spray. Any one of these can help cut back on the urge to smoke. Studies show that almost everyone can benefit from nicotine replacement therapy. It's best to talk with your health care professional about your choices. You can buy the nicotine patch and gum at any pharmacy, or get them from your doctor. The nicotine nasal spray is only available by prescription.

Get support and encouragement. Smoking cessation programs can help you learn how to deal with stress and other things that make you want to smoke. You may want to call the Ohio Quit Line, join a quit-smoking program, go to Nicotine Anonymous, or start your own informal group of smokers trying to quit. Studies show that the more support you have, the greater your chance for success.

Learn how to handle the urge to smoke.

Be aware of things that may cause you to want to smoke:

  • Being around other smokers.
  • Drinking alcoholic beverages.
  • Being under stress.
  • Getting into an argument.
  • Feeling depressed.

It can be tough "unlearning" something that is so much a part of what you do everyday. There is no magic solution—but it can be done. Over one million people prove it every year—you can too!

Reward Yourself

  • Here are some benefits you'll enjoy as a nonsmoker:
  • You'll take a giant step toward improving your health.
  • You'll feel less winded and have more energy.
  • Food will taste better.
  • Your sense of smell will improve.
  • The money spent on tobacco products can now be spent on other enjoyable things.
  • You'll control your own schedule, instead of your habit controlling you.

What are some of the benefits you look forward to? Make a list and keep it where you can see it—in the car, at home, or at work.

Call 1-800-Quit-Now (1-800-784-8669) for free one-on-one telephone support or call 330-861-7179 for a listing of free stop smoking classes in your local area.

Page last reviewed October 2014
Page originally created January 2008
Internet Citation: 36.5 Smoking—Is This the Right Time to Quit?. Content last reviewed October 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/education/curriculum-tools/diabnotebk/diabnotebk365.html