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Tobacco Prevention Coalition
Health Department

When You Quit Smoking


Smoking cigarettes is the #1 cause of preventable death. When you quit smoking, your body can start the healing process:

Time since Your Last Cigarette


Strategies to Quit

The following strategies will help you become a successful non-smoker:

  • Get social support. A friend or family member can help sooth the rough spots
  • Find ways to cope with stress. Exercise, call on your friend, go for a walk
  • Make a list of things to do instead of smoking
  • remember the 4 D’s – When the urge to smoke occurs


Wait 2 to 3 minutes – Urges will get shorter and further apart if you do not smoke

Deep Breathing:
Breathe in slowly and deeply. Hold your breath and count to five. Breathe out slowly. Repeat five times.

Drink Water:
Water satisfies the need to put something in your mouth.

Whatever you were doing when the urge came, do something else.

  • Keep a supply of gum, hard candies, straws, cinnamon sticks, etc. available.
  • Reward yourself. Short term and long term rewards are important to keep you on track.


Sometimes we are successful the first attempt to stop smoking. Sometimes it takes four to five attempts to become a non-smoker. "Don’t Quit Quitting" and you will eventually be a non-smoker.