Thinking or Trying to Quit

 Methods of quitting

Remember that you can use any combination of these methods to quit and you always learn from every quit attempt!

Cold Turkey

You suddenly quit smoking without the patch or gum. It doesn't require any supplies and is free!

The Gum

Replaces nicotine that your body craves when you don't smoke. It's chewed differently than regular gum. It's easy to use, you choose how much you need and when you need it. You can use it to help you cut down on cigarettes.

The Patch

By applying a nicotine replacement patch to your skin, your body can get some of the nicotine that it is not getting from smoking. You change the patch once a day, then gradually decrease the dose every couple of weeks. Although it can be expensive, it can help with withdrawal symptoms and no one needs to know you're using it because you can hide it under clothes.

The Group

A group of people who are all trying to kick the addiction work together, share stories, get tips and chill out. It provides support and a lot of different ideas to help you quit. It also helps you connect with people who are going through the same things you are.

So you're trying to quit? Congrats! Here are some answers to some questions you may have about quitting.

 Withdrawal, what's up with that?

When you stop smoking, the nicotine levels in your blood decrease. This can cause withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal can be intense when you first quit, but will decrease with time. Symptoms can last a few days to several weeks. Remember: every smoker experiences withdrawal differently. Hang in there!

What are the symptoms?

  • Occasional dizziness
  • Headache
  • Hunger
  • Increased coughing
  • Spaced out
  • Nervousness and shakes

But why is this happening to my body?

You inhale lots of carbon monoxide when smoking. When you quit, your body takes in more oxygen causing headaches, dizziness and making you feel spaced out. Nicotine withdrawal affects your nerves making you feel edgy. If you are concerned about a symptom, contact your health care professional.

 Quick tips
  • Find a supportive quit buddy
  • Make your own quitting survival kit (Link to Quitting Survival Kit)
  • Drink orange juice which interferes with the absorption of nicotine
  • Recognize and avoid temptations by throwing out lighters and ashtrays
  • Set a quit date and tell your friends
  • Talk to a doctor, nurse or pharmacist to see if nicotine replacement therapy is right for you. If you are a student you can talk to your school's public health nurse or health services on campus. If not, feel free to contact us

Start Slow

  • Start by decreasing the number of cigarettes you smoke each day
  • Identify which cigarettes of the day are least important to you and get rid of those first
  • Postpone your first cigarette of the day as long as you can
  • Smoke only half a cigarette


  • Sometimes, quitting smoking causes withdrawal symptoms (Link to withdrawal symptoms) which will pass within a few weeks
  • If you slip-up and smoke a few cigarettes, don't panic. It is NOT a failure
  • Try again if you need to
 Quitting Survival Kit

So you're ready to quit but you want to pack light? Here's how to make your own survival kit. What you'll need:

  • A bottle of water
  • Gum
  • A small toy for your hands (ex: slinky)
  • A stress ball
  • Your patch or the gum: discuss with your health professional if nicotine replacement therapy is right for you.


  • Pack all of the items in a small bag or throw them in your backpack or purse on your way out the door 
  • If you constantly have the need to put something in your mouth, the gum can help you chew away your cravings.
  • Some people who quit find they always need something in their hands so a small toy or a stress ball will help you since quitting can be stressful.
  • Don't forget the water bottle because hydration is key when you're trying to banish your cravings.
  • Make a "Quit Playlist" to give you motivation and distract you from the cravings you might have.
  • Finally, if you are using nicotine replacement therapy, make sure you always have it with you!
 Ready to quit

Ready to Quit and over the age of 18, go to:

Ready to quit high school students, go to:

  • Talk to your school guidance counselor
 Quitting for the first time!

Remember the four D's:

  • Delay the smoke
  • Drink plenty of water and juice
  • Distract yourself 
  • Deep Breaths

Other tips:

  • Try covering your cigarette packs with things that motivate you, like quotes or reasons why you're quitting
  • Find a quit buddy
  • Warn your family and friends that you might get a little irritable from quitting, maybe they'll cut you some slack
  • Think of options or activities to do other than smoking so when you are tempted you'll have a plan B
  • Evaluate all your options, like the patch or the gum
  • Make a survival kit with things that you can do with your hands or chew, for example: toothpicks, a slinky, stress ball, gum etc.
 I haven't smoked in 48 hours or more!
  • Your taste buds and sense of smell are improving already
  • Don't underestimate water, it can help with even the worst of cravings
  • Reward yourself! Quitting is hard and you should be proud. Go out with a friend, buy that new shirt you wanted
  • Take a nap, quitting can take a lot out of you so give yourself a break
  • Don't forget why you're quitting. When you're tempted to give up, remind yourself of the reasons for quitting in the first place
  • Don't be discouraged because the cravings are though, the worst is over in about 2 weeks
 I tried to quit but picked it back up again...
  • It's simple, a little lame, but true: If you don't succeed try, try again
  • Use your slip-ups as a learning experience
  • Monkey see, monkey do. If you are a parent, or if you have a little brother or sister, being a good role model by being smoke-free can be a huge motivation for quitting
  • Take it one day at a time
  • Keep a smoking log to help you identify your triggers so you can easily eliminate them the next time you try to quit
  • Make a list of pros of quitting and pros of smoking to help motivate you

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