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Tobacco Users Common Questions & Concerns
I want to quit but a cigarette is my closest companion and friend. I
have them with me wherever I go. What am I going to have to do to get
them out of my life?
One thing that you can do is to list your reasons for wanting to quit
and review them during the quitting period. Making plans for how to
deal with problems you will encounter before you quit is important.
Think about your triggers to smoking and what you can do instead of
lighting a cigarette at those times. Think about the routines and
rituals associated with your smoking that you will need to change during
the process of quitting. If you are interested, study some of the quit
tips and suggestions in the pamphlets that you may take with you.
I just don't think I can do it. I tried to quit once. I was so
irritable and was only able to stop for two weeks.
Most people do not succeed the first time they try to quit, but many are
successful if they continue to try. Most users make several attempts
before succeeding. The fact that you have tried, and were able to go
for two weeks is very positive. You are closer to being tobacco-free.
Think about your quit attempt. What worked---what didn't---and use that
experience to plan for your next attempt. There are a number of
medications that can help to reduce the withdrawal symptoms. We can
talk about the different options if you like.
This is a bad time for me to try to quit. I am way too busy and have
too much stress in my life right now.
Using tobacco doesn't help with stress. It just relieves the nicotine
withdrawal symptoms when you haven't used tobacco for a while. It is
common to use tobacco when things get tough because of your dependence
on nicotine. Once you are tobacco-free your stress levels will
eventually fall below what they were as a stressed-out tobacco user.
I smoke only low tar/nicotine cigarettes. I know they are healthier for
People who use low tar/nicotine cigarettes smoke more cigarettes and
inhale more often and more deeply to compensate for low nicotine levels
in these cigarettes. They end up getting the same tar/nicotine levels
as they would with higher tar/nicotine brands.
My spouse (closest friend) smokes.
Is he/she willing to stop when you do? If not, ask him/her to assist
you in your effort. Ask him/her not to smoke or leave cigarettes around
you. Establish no smoking zones in the home. Explain that you are
doing this for yourself and not to put any pressure on them.
Won't I gain weight if I stop smoking?
Many tobacco users gain weight when they quit, but it is usually less
than 10 pounds. Don't attempt to diet when first stopping-that can be
done when you are an established nonuser. Avoid high-calorie snacks.
Exercise is an effective technique to help cope with withdrawal symptoms
and life stress and also to help reduce weight gain. Some of the
medications to help you quit may limit weight gain while you are taking
My friend who quit smoking was very irritable and had a hard time
concentrating. Will that happen to me if I quit?
Irritability and loss of concentration are normal symptoms of nicotine
withdrawal. Some users have few or no withdrawal and some have a number
of symptoms. Some other physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms
are nervousness, lightheadedness, sleep disturbances, fatigue,
constipation, mouth sores, headache, hunger, depression, and cravings.
Most symptoms pass within two to four weeks after quitting. If you do
decide to quit, we can talk about different medications that can help to
reduce withdrawal symptoms.
I'm 60 years old. My body is too old to recover from years of smoking.
Many of the effects of tobacco use are reversible after cessation, at
any age. After quitting there is a decreased risk of many of the
effects of tobacco use including cancer, heart conditions, lung
diseases, and gum disease.
Should I tell other people I'm trying to quit?
Yes. You should enlist family, friends and coworkers who would be
I use Copenhagen snuff. I thought I would be able to quit anytime I
wanted to. I tried cold turkey but didn't last two days.
Smokeless tobacco is as addictive as smoked tobacco, heroin, and
cocaine. If you are interested, we will be glad to talk with you about
another quit attempt, refer you to a helpline, and suggest to you some
smokeless tobacco alternatives and medications that might be helpful. If
we could help you quit, would you be interested?