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Quit-Smoking Programs

Overview

A good quit-tobacco program can help you quit by providing support and encouragement. Programs are available for you to attend in person, by telephone, or online. Most state health departments can recommend a program in your area. Quit-tobacco programs are also called tobacco cessation programs.

When looking for a program:

  • Look for a program that's led by someone who has had training in helping people quit tobacco.
  • Avoid any program that promises to make quitting easy or that sounds like it has the only answer or a secret method that works better than any other method. There are no "magic bullets."
  • Change your quit date to match the program date. In many communities, programs are only offered 2 or 3 times a year. Keep this in mind as you plan your timeline for quitting.

In-person programs

Good in-person programs for quitting:

  • Have at least 4 to 7 sessions that include self-help materials and individual or group counseling.
  • Have sessions that last at least 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Last at least a month past your quit date. Some programs spend several weeks preparing for the quit date. A program is often most useful after you have quit.
  • Are affordable. Many programs are free or low-cost. Others cost more. Some health insurance companies or employee assistance programs (EAPs) cover the cost of quit-tobacco programs.

Telephone programs

Phone-based programs link callers to trained counselors. They can help you put together a quit plan that's tailored for you, and they can also help you avoid common problems. One resource that's available for free is the national tobacco quitline: 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669).

Online programs

Online quit-tobacco programs may work for you if your schedule doesn't allow you to attend in-person programs. There are many programs that offer resources to help you quit. See www.smokefree.gov for one example.

Text messaging

Some programs send encouraging, informative text messages several times a day. Go to www.smokefree.gov and look for SmokefreeTXT.

Credits

Current as of: August 2, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Christine R. Maldonado PhD - Behavioral Health

 

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