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How to QuitKeep trying — practice!

What will it take for me to quit?

It's normal to quit multiple times, and in many ways, before quitting for good! Chances are you've tried to quit before, and you know it can be tough to stay motivated.


What are your reasons to quit smoking, vaping, or chew? Think of them during tough times. Planning builds confidence and helps you manage your triggers. Quitting is a process. Try not to be hard on yourself. Keep trying.

Help to quit

Free, confidential, evidence-based help to quit smoking, vaping, or tobacco for New Yorkers.

Consider medications

Medications, like the nicotine patch, lozenge, or gum, can boost your chance of quitting by controlling nicotine cravings.

Combination nicotine replacement therapy, or combination therapy, can be especially helpful for people who vape or smoke heavily, about 20 or more cigarettes per day. Combination therapy typically means using the patch along with the gum or lozenge.

The patch gives you a steady dose of nicotine throughout the day. Providing relief from withdrawal.

While the lozenge or gum work fast to stop cravings in their tracks. Use these as you need them based on their package instructions or advice from your health care provider.

Tried medications before? Talk with your healthcare provider to be sure you have the right dosage, amount, and medication type for you.

Learn more Get free nicotine patches, gum, or lozenge*

*Availablity may vary.

Find your support

Tell your healthcare provider you're thinking about quitting. Ask for support, like stop-smoking medications to help stop cravings and relieve withdrawal symptoms. Your health provider can prescribe medications that are best for you.
Find those family members and friends who will support your quit efforts. Ask them to be there when you need someone to talk to or help you through a tough situation that might bring you back to smoking.
Talk with a Quit Coach for support, a plan to quit, and strategies to stay quit.

Consider a quit date

When you're ready, try picking a quit date in the next two weeks. This will give you time to prepare. Write down your quit date or set it in your calendar to help strengthen your commitment to quit.

Remember your reasons to quit — ask yourself, do I want to quit to improve my health, be around for my family members and loved ones, save money, or look, feel, and smell better? This will help to keep you motivated.

Carry your reason with you or a picture of those you are quitting for to keep you going during tough times.


Practice mini-quits – rehearsals help you build confidence and skills before your quit date.
Cut down the number of cigarettes you smoke per day.
Cut out the easiest cigarettes first, then move to the ones that are harder to let go of in your daily routine.
Try quitting for half a day, then a day, then two days.
For each practice, think about what you learned, what worked, what didn’t work, and what you can do differently.

Managing triggers and urges

There are two types of triggers:

habit and emotional. These may include daily routines, events, activities, or feelings.

To learn what your triggers are, try tracking when you smoke and how you feel when you do. Do you smoke when you feel stressed or excited when you drink alcohol or coffee? That's a trigger.

Once you know your triggers, you can plan ways to manage them. Change some of the ways you go about your daily routines – here are some tips to help you manage different triggers.

Urges come and go,

and typically last five minutes. Hold off smoking during those five minutes, and those urges will go away.

Ask others not to smoke around you and not to smoke in your living space and car.

Reframe how you think about smoking

Breaking free from cigarettes can bring on feelings of loss, like losing a “friend.”  Working on how you think about smoking can be very helpful.

Begin to think of yourself as someone who doesn't smoke. When you begin to have feelings about what you miss about smoking, stop and list all the benefits you are getting by quitting, and remember the reasons you wanted to quit in the first place.

Reach for a quit kit

Be prepared for cravings with your quit kit. Start by trying any of the following, and find what works for you.
Snackslicorice, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds can calm feelings of hunger and offer a low-calorie snack.
Activitiesword puzzles or a stress ball can provide distraction during cravings.
Cravingstoothpicks, stir sticks, straws, or cinnamon sticks can provide craving relief. Chew or hold these in your mouth when you feel a craving.

Opportunities to learn — slips and relapse

Slips are part of the quitting process. A slip can be having a puff or one or two cigarettes after you quit. Be easy on yourself. This is a brief setback – get right back on track.

A relapse is going back to smoking regularly – this happens when you give in to a slip.
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Last updated 5/17/2023 2:03 PM
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