Preparing to Quit

Congratulations on your first step to becoming tobacco free!

Just like with most challenges, preparing to quit tobacco is very important to help you quit and quit for good.

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

Here are some ideas to help you to deal with your triggers and other situations that can potentially trip you up:

Preparing to Quit
  • Pick a Quit Date and write it down on a Calendar or some place where you will see it often.
  • Start healthy habits to help you quit more successfully.
  • Write down all of the reasons you want to quit.
  • Find all of your triggers to use tobacco- write down where and when you smoke or use tobacco.
    • Times that I smoke/use are___________
    • Places that I smoke/use are___________
  • Think about what you will do when your triggers are present-what will you do instead of use tobacco, write down these strategies.
  • Find your support system- friends, family, co-workers, online support, CT Quitline, Tell them your plans and that you want their support in quitting.
  • Talk to a health care provider about medications or nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) that may help you with your quit.
Two Weeks before Your Quit Date
  • Think about things you like to do other than smoking.
  • Start exercising.
  • Stock the house with healthy snacks.
  • Start a hobby that uses your hands.
  • Purchase or obtain the medication for your quit if you will be using any.
One Week before Your Quit Date
  • Throw away all of the extra ashtrays and lighters in the house and car.
  • Tell other people to stop smoking in your car and house.
  • Do something you enjoy other than smoking.
  • Change your normal routine- if you normally smoke before you shower, shower first then eat breakfast, drink tea instead of coffee, wake up earlier, take a different route to work. Switch the order of how you do things.
  • Practice your quit- on one day try not to smoke for 30 minutes after you eat or at another time you usually smoke. On the next day, pick another time or place not to smoke. These 30- minute practices will help you to understand how you will feel when you quit and help your body adjust.
Night before Your Quit Date
  • Throw away all lighters, cigarettes/tobacco and ashtrays.
  • Review all of the reasons you want to quit.
  • Review your strategies for dealing with triggers.
After your quit date
  • Review all of the reasons you want to quit.
  • Review your strategies for dealing with triggers.
  • Contact your support systems when needed.
  • Do things with your hands – bend paper clips, fiddle with straws, doodle, nail polish.
  • Do things with your mouth- brush your teeth, chew on gum, sunflower seeds, toothpicks, suck on ice, eat popcorn, drink, eat raw vegetables.
  • Do something other than think about tobacco- crossword puzzles, read, something active.
  • Listen to music, take pictures, keep a journal.
  • If using medication to help your quit, use it as directed.
  • Reward yourself and celebrate even the small successes. Save the money you would have used to buy tobacco and buy something for yourself or your family.

Remember, even if you slip and begin using tobacco again, you can quit again. Use the slip as a learning lesson and think about what happened and why. When doing this, you will be even more prepared the next time you try to quit. Never give up, always try again.

Quitting tobacco is one of the healthiest things you can do for you and your family.

Connecticut Quitline at 1-800-784-8669
Call the CT QuitLine for Support in Quitting (1–800-784-8669) or 

register online at


Cessation Services Brochure 

Local Community Cessation Services


Tobacco Program


This page was updated on April 26, 2022