Quit Methods



Many people want to quit on their own. If that sounds like you, then these methods are some of the most successful ways to do it. They’re each a little different, so you might want to try more than one to see which works best.

Quit Date

Step 1: Set a quit date.

Step 2: Reduce the number of cigarettes smoked or cans chewed daily or weekly.

Step 3: Continue reducing tobacco use until you stop using on or before your quit date.

Benefits: A quit date helps with nicotine withdrawal by slowly weaning your body from its tobacco addiction.

Drawbacks: This requires tracking your tobacco use. High-stress events may cause you to use up your supply before the end of the day or week, increasing chances of withdrawal symptoms.

Location Limits

Step 1: Make a list of all the places you use tobacco.

Step 2: Each day or week, make one area on the list off limits.

Step 3: When all the places on your list are off limits, you’ll be tobacco-free.

Benefits: This doesn’t require tracking your tobacco use and it weans you from your addiction.

Drawbacks: Some places on your list may be hard to avoid. It may be tempting to smoke or chew in some of these places after you’ve made them off limits.

Stop Watch Quit

Step 1: Each day, set an amount of time that you have to wait between a craving and actually using tobacco.

Step 2: Increase the amount of time every day.

Step 3: Continue until you are able let the cravings pass without using tobacco.

Benefits: This doesn’t require counting how much tobacco you use.

Drawbacks: You have to be committed, especially in high-stress situations.

Cold Turkey

Step 1: Set a quit date and don’t use any tobacco after that date.

Step 2: Check out tips for managing cravings and withdrawal symptoms here.

Benefits: You get through the withdrawal period sooner. You don’t have to worry about keeping track of how many packs or cans you have used each day.

Drawbacks: The thought of going without tobacco can keep people from trying to quit.


Step 1: Select two or more of the above methods and use them at the same time.

Benefits: You increase your chances of quitting and might find that one method works better for you.

Drawbacks: Multiple methods might be harder.


There’s no right or wrong way to quit; there’s just your way. If the methods above aren’t working, there are lots of other tools you can use—everything from help with cravings and withdrawal symptoms to talking to your doctor. Learn more about your options here.