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Harvard Commentaries
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Harvard Commentaries
Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School


Set a Quit Date


June 09, 2014

Tobacco Cessation
22017
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Set a Quit Date
Set a Quit Date
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By setting a quit date -- a day on which you will stop using all tobacco -- you will have a defined goal to work toward.
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InteliHealth Medical Content
2014-09-12

Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School

Set a Quit Date
 
There is no perfect time to quit smoking.
By setting a quit date — a day on which you will stop using all tobacco — you will have a defined goal to work toward. Allow yourself ample time before your quit date to get ready. You'll need to prepare yourself emotionally and develop some strategies for getting through the day. This will greatly increase your odds of successfully becoming smoke-free.
 
Try to pick a day that will make it easier for you to quit. For example, if you smoke more on the weekends, make your quit day a weekday. Be sure that you will be able to focus all of your attention on quitting. This should be your highest priority.
 
Some people make a sign with their quit date and post it around their home and at work. Other people mark their quit date on all their calendars. Do whatever you need to do to stay motivated and focused. Treat your quit date as an event to celebrate — much like a holiday — and let your friends and family know, so they can provide support and encouragement as you work toward your goal. After all, you're taking a momentous step in the name of good health. What better reason to celebrate?
 
Make the Commitment
 
Quitting is going to be difficult. So you must be firm in your resolve to quit and take your quit date seriously. Unless you are completely committed, you're not likely to succeed. You need to want to be smoke-free.
Put your commitment to quit smoking in writing:

Quit Certificate

No matter what smoking cessation method you choose, ridding your life of tobacco is going to be a challenge. Go slowly, and take it one day at a time. Think about how great you will feel — both emotionally and physically — when you finally accomplish your goal.
 
If your life is particularly stressful right now, it may not be the best time for you to try to quit. It's OK to postpone your quit date until your life is more stable. Or, if you just don't feel ready to quit yet, take the time you need to identify what is holding you back. It's never too late to try to quit smoking.

 

 

 

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