You are here: 

What to do before you quit

When it comes to smoking, it pays to be prepared. Before you have your last cigarette, take a little time to think about how you'll handle the change of becoming smoke-free.

Image of a check mark within a circle

List your triggers

Think of all the situations where you might have a hard time resisting the urge to smoke – for example, your morning coffee or afternoon smoke break. It's helpful to think about ways that you'll cope with these triggers. You may choose to have your morning coffee in a different location or go for a walk, meet up with a friend or read during your break in the afternoon.

Image of a check mark within a circle

Practise being positive

If you feel confident about your ability to quit smoking, it will be easier to quit. A great way to build your confidence and increase your chances of becoming smoke-free is through positive self-talk:

  • I don't need this cigarette right now.
  • Smoking is not something I have to do anymore.
  • I can have a good time at a party without smoking.
Image of a check mark within a circle

Build your support system

Who are the people you can count on to support you? You know, the person you can call at 2 a.m. when you're craving a cigarette or text first thing every day to distract you from having that morning smoke. Let these people know about your quit plan and explain to them how they fit in and what you need from them. Also consider joining an online community of fellow quitters, which has the added benefit of being available 24/7.

Image of a check mark within a circle

Write down your reasons for quitting

List your top 4 reasons for quitting on our handy worksheet and post it where you can see it every day. Or put it in your smartphone. No matter where you are, you can use it to help you get through a craving or just as a reminder during those tough days.

Image of a check mark within a circle

Set a quit date

Think about what's coming up over the next 30 days and pick a day to quit smoking. Here are a few things to consider when you make your choice:

  • Pick a day when your schedule is routine and nothing new is happening.
  • Avoid dates where you have a deadline or something else that might distract you or give you more stress.
  • Try a "practice quit" to learn what quitting will feel like before you pick your quit date.

Share your quit date with your friends and family! This will help keep you accountable and also provide an opportunity to share with them how they can help during this time. Post it on your favourite social media site or send an email to let everyone know that you have taken this great step toward being smoke-free.

Image of a check mark within a circle

Work with a quit coach on your quit plan

Quit coaches provide support to develop a personalized quit plan, information on how to cope with cravings and withdrawal symptoms, and practical tips for dealing with slips and relapses. They can also provide information about other resources that may be available in your community. Call your province or territory's quitline to work with a quit coach for free: 1-866-366-3667.

Explore related articles

Proven methods to help you quit

What to do if you're not ready to quit

How to help a loved one quit smoking

Continue reading