I want to quit smoking, what kind of treatment and support exists?

Quitting smoking is probably the best thing we can do for our health and the health of those around us. Nearly three out of every four smokers want to quit, but it usually takes several attempts to be successful. Try not to get discouraged by temporary relapses. There are many different and effective ways for women to stop smoking.

You have the best chance to quit if you use a combination:

  • Quitting on your own (cold turkey)
  • Using self-help materials available on the Internet
  • Attending classes or support groups
  • Calling quit lines
  • Receiving counseling from health care providers or other trained counselors
  • Taking medication, such as nicotine replacement (patch, gum, or lozenge, all available over-the-counter) or a prescription nasal inhaler or spray, or an antidepressant.

The most important thing to know about quitting smoking is that there is no right or wrong method, though using some form of assistance increases the chance of success. Women seem to do best with a combination of methods, including social support, counseling, and medication. These treatments are available through public programs; telephone quit lines, clinics, and hospitals and will double or triple the chances of quitting permanently. If you menstruate, it may be easier to quit during the first half of your menstrual cycle. You may also want to try quitting during a time when you are not feeling overly stressed.

There are many resources to help you stop smoking. Look for them at your workplace, your health care provider, community organizations such as the American Lung Association, and on the Internet.

A national program called Circle of Friends helps women quit smoking and empowers nonsmokers to support women who choose to quit.

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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.