Top 11 Ways to Quit Smoking

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It's never too late to quit smoking. Deciding that you want to quit is half the battle – now, it's up to you to choose how. While your body starts to experience the positive benefits of quitting just 20 minutes after you stop smoking, most people know that it takes more than a day to kick the habit. Here are a few methods you can use to win the battle against nicotine once and for all.

Credit: oneinchpunch/iStock/GettyImages

It's never too late to quit smoking. Deciding that you want to quit is half the battle – now, it's up to you to choose how. While your body starts to experience the positive benefits of quitting just 20 minutes after you stop smoking, most people know that it takes more than a day to kick the habit. Here are a few methods you can use to win the battle against nicotine once and for all.

1. Download an App

A woman looks at her phone.

Tracking the days you've gone without smoking can be a powerful and rewarding way to visualize your progress. With the LIVESTRONG.COM MyQuit App, you can choose to quit cold turkey (all at once) or gradually decrease your daily nicotine intake at a pace that works for you. You can also reach out to the MyQuit community for ongoing support and motivation from people who know firsthand how difficult it is to quit.

Read more: How Evan S. Used LIVESTRONG.COM's MyQuit to Kick His Smoking Habit & Lost 45 Pounds

Tracking the days you've gone without smoking can be a powerful and rewarding way to visualize your progress. With the LIVESTRONG.COM MyQuit App, you can choose to quit cold turkey (all at once) or gradually decrease your daily nicotine intake at a pace that works for you. You can also reach out to the MyQuit community for ongoing support and motivation from people who know firsthand how difficult it is to quit.

Read more: How Evan S. Used LIVESTRONG.COM's MyQuit to Kick His Smoking Habit & Lost 45 Pounds

2. Quit Cold Turkey

A smiling woman

One 2016 study found that those who quit cold turkey were slightly more likely to have stuck to their decision six months down the road (22 percent) than those who gradually tapered their smoking (15.5 percent). It's important to note that the participants who quit cold turkey had the help of nicotine-replacement products (more about that later in this slideshow). According to the Los Angeles Times, these findings are consistent with other research on quitting, meaning that quitting cold turkey might be a good method to try alongside other options that can help to ease the process.

Listen now: Why America's Obsession With 'Happiness' Is Totally Stressing Us Out

One 2016 study found that those who quit cold turkey were slightly more likely to have stuck to their decision six months down the road (22 percent) than those who gradually tapered their smoking (15.5 percent). It's important to note that the participants who quit cold turkey had the help of nicotine-replacement products (more about that later in this slideshow). According to the Los Angeles Times, these findings are consistent with other research on quitting, meaning that quitting cold turkey might be a good method to try alongside other options that can help to ease the process.

Listen now: Why America's Obsession With 'Happiness' Is Totally Stressing Us Out

3. Reach Out for Group Support

Friends have lunch.

Enlisting the support of your friends, family and groups of people who have quit smoking or are quitting can help you to stay motivated and keep you accountable. You can support each other, trade winning strategies and swap successful tips. Need help getting started? LIVESTRONG.COM MyQuit users have formed a robust community where you can go to get words of encouragement, read other people's success stories and share your own experience.

Read more: How to Shut Up Your Inner Critic for Good

Enlisting the support of your friends, family and groups of people who have quit smoking or are quitting can help you to stay motivated and keep you accountable. You can support each other, trade winning strategies and swap successful tips. Need help getting started? LIVESTRONG.COM MyQuit users have formed a robust community where you can go to get words of encouragement, read other people's success stories and share your own experience.

Read more: How to Shut Up Your Inner Critic for Good

4. Hypnosis

A woman closes her eyes.

While the science behind hypnosis has so far shown that it's not a quitting method that works, some people say that it helps, according to the American Cancer Society. If you'd like to try it out, ask your health care provider to refer you to a licensed therapist who practices hypnotherapy.

While the science behind hypnosis has so far shown that it's not a quitting method that works, some people say that it helps, according to the American Cancer Society. If you'd like to try it out, ask your health care provider to refer you to a licensed therapist who practices hypnotherapy.

5. Replacement

A woman grabs her neck.

Nicotine replacement therapy, or NRT, replaces cigarettes with patches, gums, nasal sprays, lozenges or inhalers. These products allow you to taper your nicotine use, so you can manage your cravings in gradual steps while eliminating other harmful chemicals that you get from cigarettes. It's important to remember that you must quit smoking entirely before you try any of these products.

Read more: 10 Signs You Are a Control Freak

Nicotine replacement therapy, or NRT, replaces cigarettes with patches, gums, nasal sprays, lozenges or inhalers. These products allow you to taper your nicotine use, so you can manage your cravings in gradual steps while eliminating other harmful chemicals that you get from cigarettes. It's important to remember that you must quit smoking entirely before you try any of these products.

Read more: 10 Signs You Are a Control Freak

6. Sabotage Your Habit

A woman smiles in a cafe.

Certain items, emotions and habits can trigger you to start smoking again. Smokefree.gov recommends replacing things that you might associate with smoking, like drinking coffee or taking a work break, with another activity, or doing that those things at a different time of day. Also, toss out any smoking paraphernalia, like ash trays, lighters, matches and every last cigarette to minimize temptations.

Certain items, emotions and habits can trigger you to start smoking again. Smokefree.gov recommends replacing things that you might associate with smoking, like drinking coffee or taking a work break, with another activity, or doing that those things at a different time of day. Also, toss out any smoking paraphernalia, like ash trays, lighters, matches and every last cigarette to minimize temptations.

7. Phone a Friend

A man on the phone

According to the ACS, phone counseling is twice as effective as quitting without help. All U.S. states and the District of Columbia provide free telephone links to trained counselors who match programs to individuals' unique needs. Call the ACS at 1-800-227-2345 to find a counseling program in your area.

Read more: LIVESTRONG.COM Members' Powerful Quit-Smoking Success Stories

According to the ACS, phone counseling is twice as effective as quitting without help. All U.S. states and the District of Columbia provide free telephone links to trained counselors who match programs to individuals' unique needs. Call the ACS at 1-800-227-2345 to find a counseling program in your area.

Read more: LIVESTRONG.COM Members' Powerful Quit-Smoking Success Stories

8. Zyban

A handful of pills

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, certain prescription medications have been proven to be effective in helping people to combat their smoking addiction. One of these is bupropion (Zyban), which reduces nicotine withdrawal symptoms. It can be prescribed alone or with NRT, and you would typically start using it about a week before your quit day. Ask a health care provider if Zyban might be a good option for you, and take it exactly as prescribed.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, certain prescription medications have been proven to be effective in helping people to combat their smoking addiction. One of these is bupropion (Zyban), which reduces nicotine withdrawal symptoms. It can be prescribed alone or with NRT, and you would typically start using it about a week before your quit day. Ask a health care provider if Zyban might be a good option for you, and take it exactly as prescribed.

9. Chantix

A man sits.

Varenicline (Chantix) is another prescription medication that is proven to help people quit smoking. It works by interfering with brain receptors for nicotine, diminishing the enjoyment of smoking, and reducing nicotine withdrawal symptoms.

Like with bupropion, you would normally start taking varenicline a month to a week before your quit day. Ask your health care provider if varenicline is a good option for you, and take it exactly as prescribed.

Read more: Kelly Ripa, Adele and 9 Other Celebrities Who Quit Smoking

Varenicline (Chantix) is another prescription medication that is proven to help people quit smoking. It works by interfering with brain receptors for nicotine, diminishing the enjoyment of smoking, and reducing nicotine withdrawal symptoms.

Like with bupropion, you would normally start taking varenicline a month to a week before your quit day. Ask your health care provider if varenicline is a good option for you, and take it exactly as prescribed.

Read more: Kelly Ripa, Adele and 9 Other Celebrities Who Quit Smoking

10. Join Nicotine Anonymous

A group meeting

Nicotine Anonymous is a 12-step program for living nicotine-free. It follows the "12 Steps" approach pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous and offers group support. The toll-free number is 1-877-879-6422 for printed materials, information and meeting schedules.

Nicotine Anonymous is a 12-step program for living nicotine-free. It follows the "12 Steps" approach pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous and offers group support. The toll-free number is 1-877-879-6422 for printed materials, information and meeting schedules.

11. Follow the Money

A man pulls money out of a wallet.

While the price of cigarettes can vary depending on your location, some places charge more than $10 a pack – and those prices are only going up. Even if you're paying "just" $5 a pack – assuming you smoke a pack a day – you're shelling out $1,850 a year. Try thinking about what you could be spending that money on instead as a way to stay motivated.

Read more: 9 Tips for Rock-Solid Financial Health From the World's Richest People

While the price of cigarettes can vary depending on your location, some places charge more than $10 a pack – and those prices are only going up. Even if you're paying "just" $5 a pack – assuming you smoke a pack a day – you're shelling out $1,850 a year. Try thinking about what you could be spending that money on instead as a way to stay motivated.

Read more: 9 Tips for Rock-Solid Financial Health From the World's Richest People

What Do YOU Think?

What do you think?

Have you ever tried to quit smoking? If so, what methods have worked and what methods haven't? What would your advice be to someone who is trying to quit? Is there someone in your life who you wish would quit smoking? What are some ways you can ask someone to quit smoking? Share in the comments.

Have you ever tried to quit smoking? If so, what methods have worked and what methods haven't? What would your advice be to someone who is trying to quit? Is there someone in your life who you wish would quit smoking? What are some ways you can ask someone to quit smoking? Share in the comments.

How to Quit Smoking: Weaning Vs. Cold Turkey

Credit: oneinchpunch/iStock/GettyImages
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