Quit your way
Everyone is unique and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to quitting smoking. Check out these common quit methods to find a strategy that works for you:
Connecting with a counselor or joining a support group is a great way to be done with smoking in a safe and confidential space.
Connect with a quit coach
Quit coaches offer support to anyone interested in quitting smoking. They can help you develop a structured Quit Plan, answer your questions about quitting and refer you to services in your community.
To get started, call a quit coach for free at 1-866-366-3667 or visit www.gosmokefree.gc.ca/quit.
In-person counselling and support
Quit counsellors give confidential one-on-one support to people interested in quitting smoking. They can help you develop a structured Quit Plan, answer your questions about quitting and refer you to services in your community.
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) can help ease the physical withdrawal symptoms when you quit, so you can focus on your goals without worrying about cravings.
Each method below can be bought without a prescription at your local pharmacy. Before starting any medication, make sure to read the instructions on the package or talk to a healthcare professional.
The patch delivers nicotine into your body through a small sticker on your skin. It’s available in different strengths, so you can control your withdrawal symptoms and cravings by gradually reducing your body’s dependence on nicotine.
Nicotine gum is a special gum that delivers nicotine to your body. It’s not chewed like ordinary gum — the nicotine is absorbed through your gums and cheek, so you need to bite the gum a few times and then keep it against your cheek for it to work correctly.
Inhalers deliver nicotine through a plastic cylinder or cartridge held between your fingers. Like a cigarette, you puff on the inhaler and nicotine vapour is released and absorbed through the lining of your mouth. The inhaler may also help by mimicking the hand-to-mouth routine of smoking, and is also especially helpful for people who need to control when they get a “hit” of nicotine.
Nicotine lozenges release nicotine as the tablet dissolves in your mouth, similar to a hard candy.
Many prescription medications can help ease your withdrawal symptoms and reduce your urge to smoke. Some medications are taken before you actually quit smoking, and some can be taken with other methods like the patch or nicotine gum. It totally depends on which prescription your doctor recommends and what type of program you’re set up with.
Talk to a healthcare professional to find a method that’s right for you. Prescription medications can have side effects associated with them, so it’s important that you’re honest and open with your doctor so they can recommend the right option.
Doing it alone
Some people have an easier time quitting than others, and they might not need much help at all leaving cigarettes behind. Just remember: quitting isn’t about willpower alone. Although making a commitment and picking a quick date is important, support from family and friends can go a long way in helping you overcome the challenges
Self-help quitting guides can range from books, to audio recordings, to online and spiritually based programs. The Break It Off app, as well as the On the Road to Quitting self-help book, can be helpful resources. Although they may use different approaches, their overall goal is to help you quit smoking.
Every self-help approach is different, and some have better success rates than others. But it the end, it’s up to you. Be done with smoking. You can do it.
Quitting cold turkey means to immediately stop smoking without the help of medication or any form of NRT. It’s a method that works differently for everyone — some people manage their withdrawal symptoms better than others.
If you’re planning to quit cold turkey, make sure you know what to expect in terms of potential withdrawal symptoms and how to get through them.
Questions about vaping?
If you are a smoker, quitting smoking is the best thing you can do to improve your health. There is support available to help you quit.
E-cigarettes and other vaping products deliver nicotine in a less harmful way than smoking, and may reduce health risks for smokers. If you are unable to quit smoking, completely switching to vaping is less harmful.
Except for nicotine, vaping products typically only contain a fraction of the 7,000 chemicals found in tobacco or tobacco smoke, and at lower levels. Completely replacing cigarette smoking with a vaping product will reduce your exposure to numerous toxicants and carcinogens.
While evidence is still emerging, some suggests that e-cigarette use is linked to improved rates of success when quitting.
However, less harmful does not mean risk-free. If you are not a smoker, vaping can increase your exposure to some harmful substances that could negatively affect your health.