Frequently Asked Questions about Quitting

It may take several attempts before quitting successfully but some people are successful right away’

What is the most successful way to quit using tobacco?

Because each tobacco user is unique, treatment options vary from person to person.  Research shows that successful quitters generally use a combination of treatments that include counseling (individual, group or telephone), medication and support from friends and family.  For more information on treatment options see the “Current Treatment Options” chart.


How can I manage my cravings?

Plan ahead.  Develop a list of coping strategies and use them.  Review your reasons for quitting and the “Tips to Quitting” Fact sheet.  Make an emergency plan.  Write down names and numbers of people who will support you. Put the CT Quitline- 1-800-QUIT-NOW at the top of the list.  Remember, cravings usually only last for 3-5 minutes.  Try to do something else during that time.


Smoking eases my stress.  How will I deal with difficult situations?

Plan in advance to use stress management techniques.  Practice deep breathing exercises before your quit date and be prepared to use them.  Remember that using tobacco may help you cope with stress short-term but often creates more stress in the end.  If you are struggling, talk to some one. The CT Quitline or a qualified counselor can help.


How do I handle being around friends and family members when they are smoking?

Talk to them.  Tell them that you are quitting and really need their support.  Most people recognize how difficult this process can be and want to help.  Politely tell people that they can no longer smoke in your home or car.  Ask them not to smoke near your or to leave tobacco lying around.


How does alcohol affect my ability to stay tobacco-free?

Drinking alcohol may significantly increase cravings and may lower motivation, so it is a good idea to avoid alcohol.  If you doctor has prescribed medication to help you quit, discuss possible side effects of mixing alcohol with the medication.


What about weight gain?

Nicotine is a stimulant that increases the body’s metabolic rate.  On average, 70-80% of people who stop using tobacco, initially gain between 5 to 7 pounds.   If caloric intake and/or activity level is not changed after quitting, some weight gain is likely. Exercise and meal planning can improve the chances of controlling your weight. Desiring a cigarette or other tobacco is often mistaken for hunger causing many ex-tobacco users to eat more to satisfy their tobacco cravings.


How can I control my weight after I stop using tobacco?

  • Eat small, well balanced meals throughout the day
  • Pay attention to the fat and calorie content of the foods you eat
  • Have enjoyable, low-calorie snacks available
  • Avoid refined sugar.  The body craves sugars during withdrawal from tobacco, so eat fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods that release sugars into the body more gradually
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Do not stay in the kitchen after meals
  • Be active.  Make simple changes such as using stairs, parking farther from your destination and walking for a few minutes after a meal.  The benefits go beyond weight control: exercise is a good distraction, removes nicotine from the body faster and helps you sleep better
  • Brush your teeth or use mouthwash immediately after you eat.