Is counseling necessary to help me quit smoking?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
You don't need counseling to quit, but it will increase your chances of success. Counseling can encompass a lot of things. Your first taste of counseling probably came when you sat down in front of your doctor -- that is, if you actually admitted you were a smoker. Counseling can be one-on-one or part of a group program. Programs can be tailored specifically for you, or they can be universal step-by-step programs. You can find them at hospitals, clinics and community centers.

Sometimes, these groups are conducted by healthcare professionals, and sometimes they're run by former smokers just like you. There are telephone quit lines, Web-based programs and mobile applications too. All of these can offer support, motivation, practical ways to get through the cravings, and other constructive advice as you begin your life as a former smoker.
Counseling may not be necessary to help you quit smoking, but many smokers find that counseling can boost their chances of success. Studies show that a combination of counseling and medication is more effective than either medication or counseling alone. Whether you choose individual, group, online or phone counseling, a trained professional will guide you through products and programs that can help you quit.

Counseling also teaches you how to identify and avoid triggers that caused you to smoke and may increase your odds of relapsing after you quit. A counselor can also help you build a support group of family, friends or ex-smokers that can encourage you and cheer you on.
Dr. Robin Miller, MD
Internal Medicine
Some people can be successful quitting smoking on their own.  However, individual or group counseling can increase your chance of success.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.