Quit Day

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Harvard Medical School
Chrome 2001
Chrome 2001

Quit Day

Tobacco Cessation
Start the Journey
Quit Day
Quit Day
Your first day without cigarettes.
InteliHealth Medical Content

Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School

Quit Day
Today will be your first day without cigarettes. It's a major event in your life, one worthy of celebration — though you may not feel much like celebrating when the nicotine withdrawal kicks in.
If you are using any nicotine replacement products to help decrease withdrawal symptoms, be sure that you know how to properly use them on quit day. You may benefit most from your nicotine replacement first thing in the morning, after you wake up or eat breakfast. This will get you off to a more comfortable start and will help keep you in the right frame of mind for the rest of your day.
If you are quitting cold turkey (without nicotine replacement), today will probably be tough. Headaches and muscle pains are typical, and you will likely experience fatigue and have difficulty concentrating. Those around you will be subject to your irritability and moodiness. Don't let the first day get you down. As unpleasant as these symptoms are, they mean you're recovering from your addiction.
It will probably take about two weeks for these symptoms to pass and for you to begin to feel more like yourself. Line up your support team and let them know in advance that you will not be great company for a while. Your support team will help you through this.
Break the Routine
To get through quit day, avoid some parts of your previous routine.
  • Sit in a different place when you eat breakfast, or eat something other than your usual meal.
  • Drive a different route to work.
  • Take in a movie or show you've been wanting to see.
  • Go out for a fancy dinner with friends. (To a nonsmoking restaurant, of course!)
  • Buy flowers and enjoy their aroma.
Plan some enjoyable activities to take your mind off the fact that you have said goodbye to cigarettes. Stay as busy as possible. This will make the hours pass faster. Pack every minute with activity. Today, downtime is your enemy.
As a symbolic gesture, throw away any leftover cigarettes you have sitting around. This will not only make you feel as if you've triumphed over your addiction, it will make it more difficult for you to give in to a nicotine craving.




Last updated June 09, 2014

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