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Utah Tobacco Cessation Resource Directory- Approaches to Quit

Five Approaches to Quit

People often want to know what is the best way to become tobacco-free. The truth is, there is no one best way. There are five basic methods to quit. Which one works depends more on you than on the method. There are 5 basic ways to become tobacco-free.

Cold Turkey

Method: Set a quit date and use no tobacco after that date.
Benefits: You get through the withdrawal period sooner.

You don't have to worry about keeping track of how many packs or cans of tobacco;you have used each day.

Drawbacks: The thought of suddenly going without tobacco may keep you from even trying to quit.











Method: Set a quit date

Count out how many cigarettes or containers of tobacco that must be reduced per day to be tobacco-free on the quit date.-- For example, set a quit date seven days from now. If you smoke one pack of cigarettes per day you will eliminate 3 cigarettes each upcoming day.

Borrowing from friends and stretching quit time is not allowed.

Benefits: It lessens the impact of sudden withdrawal. It slowly weans you from your addiction to tobacco.

It slowly weans you from your addiction to tobacco.

Drawbacks: It requires you to keep track of how much tobacco you have used each day.

A high stress event may cause you to use up your supply before the day ends. This increases the chance of withdrawal symptoms and cheating.















Place Postponement


Method: Keep a log of where you use tobacco (3-5 days; include at least one weekend day)

Identify high use areas such as the T.V. room, kitchen, car, etc. Set a future quit date Begin setting various locations off-limits for tobacco use- add a new off-limits area every couple of days or so.

Soon you limit yourself from using tobacco in any area.

Benefits: It doesn't require counting the amounts of tobacco used each day..

It slowly weans you from your addiction to tobacco.

Drawbacks: It requires you to keep track of how much tobacco you have used each day.



















Time Postponement


Method: Set a time limit from when you first feel the urge to use to when you actually do use the tobacco.

The time block gets larger from the first day on until there's is no more time to use tobacco.

Example: On the first day delay smoking a cigarette for 5 minutes from the time of the first urge. The next day go 15 minutes, the next day 30 minutes, and so on until time to use runs out.

Benefits: It doesn't require counting of amounts of tobacco used.

Drawbacks: High stress situations and the lack of commitment may limit success.



















Method: You use two or more of the previous methods at the same time.

For example: Use the tapering method (decreasing the amount used each day) until tobacco use is low enough for you to go cold turkey.

Benefits: It allows you to commit to an approach that doesn't require total quitting from the start.


Lack of persistence.  Like any new learning it takes time for a new technique to work. 

The "I tried but just couldn't do it" mentality instead of an "Okay, I slipped this time so what do I do next time to avoid slipping?"








way to quit

Data and Reports

Statewide Cessation Directory


The Key to Success

Quitting is like skiing or biking- it takes practice to be good at it. You may have to try more than one approach before being a successful quitter. If one method doesn't work, figure out what went wrong and then choose a better way that works for you.