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Tomorrow is the Great American Smokeout, a day that’s meant to encourage smokers to make a plan to quit – for themselves and their families.  If you or someone you love is a smoker but wants to quit, there is no better time than the present. Here are some tried and true methods that can help.

To start, plan ahead.  Pick a date to stop smoking–your quit date. Use the time before your quit date to think about some of the ways you’ll handle withdrawal symptoms and triggers.  Triggers are those certain times, places, people or feelings that make you want to smoke.

Talk to your doctor about quit-smoking medicines.  Using quit-smoking medicines and counseling support together can triple your chances of quitting for good! Many medicines help with withdrawal symptoms and are not addictive.  Some, like the nicotine patch or gum, are available over the counter without a prescription.

Contact your health plan too.  Many health insurance plans help cover the cost of medicine and counseling to help you stop smoking. For MassHealth  clients, FDA-approved medicines and counseling support are covered with a regular co-pay of under $4.

Learn from others’ experiences.  People across Massachusetts have been sharing their quit stories as part of the Ex-Smokers’ Hall of Fame to help others quit too. Watch their stories for quitting tips and inspiration!

Call the Massachusetts Smokers’ Helpline for free support and advice to help you quit: 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669). The Helpline provides free and confidential quit-smoking coaching and counseling over the phone in English and Spanish and translation for other languages. You can call Monday through Friday for one-on-one support.

Finally, keep trying! Focus on getting through just one day without smoking. If you do smoke a cigarette, don’t give up–just keep moving forward with your plan to quit. Most smokers have to try a few times before they quit. If you’ve been thinking about quitting smoking, make a plan and give it a try. Quitting smoking can be hard, but you CAN do it!

For more quit-smoking tips and for help making a quit plan, visit www.makesmokinghistory.org.  

Written By:


Commissioner of the Department of Public Health

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