University of Illinois Extension

Preparing to Quit Smoking


Below is a list of some things you can do to help yourself get ready to quit smoking. Preparing to quit helps you plan for a change (being a non-smoker) and gives you some alternatives to smoking. Plan to do at least two of these things before your quit date.

Go Shopping!

Some people report that buying and using the following items helped them get ready to become a non-smoker.

  • Tin of mints
  • Pack of toothpicks
  • Drinking straws
  • Fresh breath spray
  • Scented candles
  • Mint strips
  • Coffee stir sticks
  • Mint flavored gum
  • A new toothbrush

Call Your Doctor

If you are planning on using a nicotine replacement therapy, talk with your doctor about over-the-counter or prescription products.

Clean, Clean, Clean!

Get rid of that cigarette smoke smell and clean your car—inside and out.

  • Clean the windows.
  • Dump the ashtray and fill it with hard candy.
  • Use an air freshener to give your car a fresh scent.

Clean your house.

  • Dust, vacuum and polish. Think of it as spring cleaning--for your home and your body.
  • Throw away all ashtrays and lighters. After all, non-smokers don’t need ashtrays.
  • Light a scented candle and enjoy your new, non-smoking home.

Write a Goodbye Letter to Your Cigarettes

They have been with you in good times and bad. In your letter, be sure to list why you smoked and why it is time for you to quit. It’s time to say goodbye to cigarettes and hello to better health.

Tell Everyone!

Telling friends and family you are kicking the habit helps to make the idea of quitting smoking a reality. You can do it!!