Smoking Cessation

Smoking Cessation: Quit 4 Life


Quitting Facts

  • After 20 minutes – Blood pressure and pulse decrease
  • After 12 hours – Carbon monoxide levels decrease
  • After 24 hours – Risk of heart attack begins to decrease
  • After 3 days – Sense of smell and taste return
  • After 2 weeks – Lung function and circulation start to improve
  • After 1 year – Risk of heart disease drops by 50%
  • After 5 years – Risk of stroke is equal to that of a non-smoker
  • After 10 years – Risk of lung cancer drops by 50%
  • After 15 years – Risk of heart disease is equal to that of a non-smoker

Dealing With Withdrawal

Bad Breath

  • Brush your teeth often and drink lots of water
  • Your lungs need time to clean themselves as they remove deposits of tar


  • Drink lots of water, add roughage to your diet, go for walks
  • Intestinal movement decreases for 1-2 weeks

Cough/Dry Mouth

  • Sip ice water, try cough drops, sugar-free gum or hard candy
  • The body is getting rid of mucus which has blocked airways and restricted breathing, this takes a few days


  • Wait out urges, they only last about 3 minutes. Drink a glass of water
  • Nicotine is an addictive drug and cravings will be frequent for the first 3 days


  • Get fresh air, change positions slowly
  • The body is getting extra oxygen and this will take 1 or 2 days to get used to


  • Get extra sleep and more exercise
  • Nicotine is a stimulant and it will take 2 to 4 weeks for your body to get back to normal


  • Drink water or low calorie liquids, munch on low calorie snacks
  • Craving for a cigarette can be confused with hunger pangs, this may last for several weeks


  • Get lots of exercise, chew nicotine gum. Remember that this is only short-term
  • Tobacco smokers are in a chronic state of nervous stimulation, withdrawal symptoms are the result of your nervous system returning to normal, which can take 1 to 2 weeks

Lack of Concentration

  • Change activities, get some exercise, take a deep breath
  • Your body needs a few weeks to adjust to the lack of nicotine stimulation

Lack of Sleep

  • Take a hot, relaxing bath, avoid caffeine
  • Nicotine affects brain wave function which can influence sleep patterns; it takes a week or so for things to return to normal

Tightness in the Chest

  • Try deep breathing or relaxation techniques
  • Tightness is due to tension created by the body’s need for nicotine. It may also be caused by sore muscles from coughing as the body attempts to remove mucus and tar

Be Patient … give your body time to return to normal!

Five Day Plan: Preparing for your Quit Date

Day 5

  • Think about your reasons for quitting
  • Tell your friends and family
  • STOP buying cigarettes

Day 4

  • Pay attention to when and why you smoke
  • Think of other things to hold in your hand
  • Change smoking related habits and routines

Day 3

  • Plan what you will do with the money
  • Think of who to reach out to when you need support

Day 2

  • Buy the nicotine patch, nicotine gum, or fill your prescription for bupropion

Day 1

  • Throw away ALL cigarettes, matches, lighters, and ashtrays
  • Clean your clothes to get rid of the cigarette smell

Quit Day

  • Keep very busy
  • Remind family and friends that this is your quit day
  • Stay away from alcohol, coffee, and other triggers
  • Treat yourself to something special

Congratulations On Being Smoke Free!

Tips to help you along the journey to being Smoke Free

  • Make a list of the pros & cons
  • Remind yourself that no one has ever died from NOT having a cigarette, but some have because they DID
  • Leave bowls of your favorite candy/snack around the house
  • Take a walk
  • Limit coffee and other things that go along with cigarettes
  • Brush your teeth
  • Sing while driving instead of smoking
  • Drink water
  • Chew gum
  • Tell people that you have quit and that you are proud of yourself. They will offer their support and encouragement!

Tobacco Facts

  • Nicotine is as addictive as cocaine or heroin
  • Smoking is the leading cause of preventable illness, disability, and death
  • It is estimated that half of all lifelong smokers will die from tobacco related causes
  • On average, smokers lose about 15 years off of their lives
  • Most smokers make an average of 3 to 4 attempts before quitting for good
  • People who quit before age 50, cut their risk of premature death in half