Time to Quit
Ways to Quit Smoking
Most former smokers quit without using one of the treatments that scientific research has shown can work.10 However, the following treatments are proven to be effective for smokers who want help to quit:
- Brief help by a doctor (such as when a doctor takes 10 minutes or less to give a patient advice and assistance about quitting)6
- Individual, group, or telephone counseling6
- Behavioral therapies (such as training in problem solving)6
- Treatments with more person-to-person contact and more intensity (such as more or longer counseling sessions)6
- Programs to deliver treatments using mobile phones12
Medications for quitting that have been found to be effective include the following:
- Nicotine replacement products6
- Over-the-counter (nicotine patch [which is also available by prescription], gum, lozenge)
- Prescription (nicotine patch, inhaler, nasal spray)
- Prescription non-nicotine medications: bupropion SR (Zyban®),6 varenicline tartrate (Chantix®)6,13
Counseling and medication are both effective for treating tobacco dependence, and using them together is more effective than using either one alone.6
- More information is needed about quitting for people who smoke cigarettes and also use other types of tobacco.1
Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) if you want help quitting. This is a free telephone support service that can help people who want to stop smoking or using tobacco. Callers are routed to their state quitlines, which offer several types of quit information and services. These may include:
- Free support, advice, and counseling from experienced quitline coaches
- A personalized quit plan
- Practical information on how to quit, including ways to cope with nicotine withdrawal
- The latest information about stop-smoking medications
- Free or discounted medications (available for at least some callers in most states)
- Referrals to other resources
- Mailed self-help materials
Get free help online, too.
- For information on quitting, go to the Quit Smoking Resources page on CDC’s Smoking & Tobacco Use Web site.
- Read inspiring stories about former smokers and their reasons for quitting at CDC’s Tips From Former Smokers Web site.
- The I’m Ready to Quit! page links to many helpful resources.
Visit CDC’s Online Publications Catalog to order free copies of materials about quitting as well as helpful resources about tobacco use prevention.