Resources for Quitting Smoking

Today is World No Tobacco Day, an initiative sponsored by the World Health Organization.  

How to quit smoking Coincidentally, this week we were updating our chapter on how to quit smoking, so we're posting some of the resources we've found. Most are free. If you have other favorite resources you'd like us to include here or in the book, please share them in the comments. (Even if you're not ready to quit smoking now, go poke around. Maybe you'll be ready soon.)

Online and Phone Resources 

  • smokefree.gov is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and other organizations. It has a wealth of free materials, including guides to quitting, quizzes, journals, and help via instant messaging. It also offers free smartphone apps that will help you monitor your progress, deal with cravings, and even post your progress to social media. One app also allows you to record video messages to serve as reminders of why you want to quit smoking.
  • smokefree.gov also has a texting service that will send you regular messages of encouragement. Text QUIT to IQUIT (47848).
  • Two additional NCI sites have materials tailored just for women and teenagers.
  • If you are in the military, check out Quit Tobacco, Make Everyone Proud from the U.S. Department of Defense. It offers information on quitting, group coaching, personalized training materials, and more. If you are enrolled in Tricare, you have access to live online chat help as well as phone support 24 hours a day (North Region: 866-459-8766; South Region: 877-414-9949; West Region: 888-713-4597). If you’re a veteran enrolled in the VA Health Care System, you can call 877-222-8387 for help.
  • The National Cancer Institute has phone and online counselors who can help you find information and explore options for quitting. Call 877-448-7848 or go to Cancer Topics: Tobacco (click on LiveHelp Online Chat).
  • Contact your free state quitline at 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669). Counselors can help you explore your motivations to quit and your triggers, devise a personalized quit plan, and give you support and encouragement. They can also advise you on local resources (services vary from state to state; many offer services in Spanish and some supply nicotine replacement patches for free).
  • The American Cancer Society has a Guide to Quitting Smoking.
  • Want to hear how other people managed to quit? The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has posted videos of real quitters at Tips From Former Smokers.
  • Wondering how much you can save by quitting smoking? Calculate the costs. (It's probably around $2,000 a year.)
  • Download the ebook Keep Quit! A Motivational Guide to a Life Without Smoking , generously shared with us by the author Terry A. Rustin, M.D.

Group Therapy and Support Programs

  • The American Lung Association offers a Freedom from Smoking program. You can take part in the 8-session program with a small group of people locally or online.  
  • The American Cancer Society offers Fresh Start support groups at places of employment.
  • Nicotine Anonymous uses a 12-step approach to quitting smoking.
  • You can also get online support from others who are trying to quit on QuitNet

We'll have a lot more information on quitting smoking in the new edition of The Recovery Book.

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