Tobacco Cessation

Foundations Tobacco Cessation – Getting Ready to Quit

Foundations Tobacco Cessation – Getting Ready to Quit
Natalie Stein

Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Expert | Lark Health

Getting ready to quit using tobacco can be exciting and possibly scary or overwhelming. Going in with a plan can make the journey smoother. As you get closer to your quit date, it can help to think about motivation for quitting, resources available to you, and what to expect as you quit.

Motivation for Quitting

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of possible reasons for quitting. Do any of these reasons ring true with you?

Health Reasons Financial Reasons
  • Lung cancer
  • Emphysema and chronic bronchitis
  • Asthma
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Performance at work and potential for career advancement
  • Daily cost ranging from a coffee to a restaurant meal
  • Annual cost equivalent to a vacation
  • Lifetime cost equivalent to a few cars
Personal Reasons Social Reasons
  • Risk of fire
  • Better sense of taste and smell
  • More time to do other things
  • Easier time exercising
  • Interrupting events because of needing to “go out for a smoke”
  • Off puttingly smelly clothes

Tools for Quitting

Support for quitting is all around, and finding out what is available to you as you plan to quit can help solidify your plan. Lark can be with you 24/7 to log cravings and ride them out, and to offer encouragement and advice. National, state, and local public health agencies have an abundance of materials and tips for quitting, and healthcare providers can refer you to programs to help quit tobacco.

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is the closest thing to a tried-and-true method for quitting. It is most effective if you start it right when you want to quit. This method involves taking nicotine by itself, such as in the form of a lozenge or patch, without the other chemicals in tobacco. Since nicotine is the most addictive chemical in tobacco, NRT lets you quit with less intense withdrawal symptoms. 

Certain prescription medications can also help you quit. They may work by reducing the effects of withdrawal symptoms or by making tobacco less pleasant. Working with your healthcare provider as you prepare to quit can help you get the medications and other support you need.

Preparing for Ups and Downs

Quitting tobacco can be one of the hardest and most rewarding challenges you ever take on. The journey’s highs may include pride and immediately noticeable improvements in health, stamina, and taste. 

However, the journey is almost sure to include cravings and relapses. Fewer than 1 in 10 adult smokers successfully quit each year, and it can take 15 to 30 tries, on average to quit. If you relapse, you can always try again as you get closer to becoming a quitting success story.