Ministry of Health Singapore. All Rights Reserved.
You want to quit smoking — how do you plan for success? Follow our quitting game plan and you’ll be on your way to your last cigarette.
In the past two weeks, you’ve listed your motivations for quitting and learned about the benefits of stubbing out. You’ve made up your mind: you want to quit smoking.
Where do we begin?
To help you on your road to smoke-free living, we’ve put together a step-by-step quit plan. Here are the five steps to take before you stop smoking for good:
Figure out why you smoke.
Write down your reasons for quitting.
Choose a quit method.
Set a quit day.
Tell your loved ones.
Let’s take a closer look at these steps!
What are your motivations for smoking?
It’s a Habit
You feel “off” if you don’t smoke after a meal or during your 3pm
kopi break. You associate smoking with certain activities, places, or people. Maybe many of your friends and family members smoke too, and you’ve picked the habit up from them.
It’s in Your Mind
You have the urge to smoke when you feel stressed out, or to perk yourself up. Or you smoke when you’re bored. Truth is, you only need to smoke because you think you do.
It’s an Addiction
You need to smoke because your body craves the nicotine in cigarettes — you feel weak if you don’t smoke, and you can’t get through the day without lighting up.
It is normal to experience some cravings and withdrawal symptoms when you quit smoking. But remember that these symptoms are only temporary. You can also practise some deep breathing techniques to help deal with the withdrawal symptoms.
Once you know the reason, you’ll be able to choose which quit method to use. For example, those who smoke because of addiction can consider nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to aid in quitting.
Remind yourself of the reasons you’re trying to quit. To save money? To feel better? To be a better role model? Write them down and use them as motivation when the going gets tough.
If health is your primary reason, remind yourself that smoking can cause cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure (hypertension), and many other chronic conditions.
Think about all the health benefits that you will reap in the long term once you quit smoking for good. Don’t forget about the immediate health benefits too.
If you are quitting for a beloved family member such as your spouse or child, look at their photos in your smartphone every time you feel the urge to light up.
Read up on the different
You can go cold turkey, or cut down the number of cigarettes you smoke each day. You don’t have to do it alone; you can join a support group or look for a smoking cessation clinic to help you on your journey to quit smoking. You can also get professional help by calling QuitLine at 1800-438-2000.
There’s also NRT, which comes in different forms like patches and lozenges, or you can talk to your doctor or a health professional about medication.
Choose the one you think would work best, and commit to it.
Now that you’ve decided why and how you want to quit, it’s time to pick a quit date. Select a suitable day to quit: check your calendar and make sure it’s not a stressful period—avoid that big project with crazy deadlines!.
This will make it easier to cope with withdrawal symptoms. Once you’ve chosen a quit day, start preparing for it.
A Week Before Your Quit Day
Decide on your quit method, and stock up on battle supplies: mints and chewy candy (or dried cuttlefish snacks) for an “itchy” mouth, or patches and lozenges if you need them.
A Day Before Your Quit Day
Throw away all ashtrays, lighters, and cigarettes.
Let your family and friends know that you’ve decided to quit smoking. Ask for their support and tell them you’ll need their help, especially when your cravings and withdrawal symptoms hit. Who knows, your commitment to quit might even encourage a fellow smoker to do the same!
I Quit 28-Day Countdown now! Call QuitLine at 1800 438 2000 for support, and visit
participating retail pharmacies for advice and products that can help you quit.
Download the HealthHub app on
Google Play or
Apple Store to access more health and wellness advice at your fingertips.
This article was last reviewed on
Wednesday, September 4, 2019
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Ministry of Health Singapore. All Rights Reserved.