Trying to quit is difficult for two reasons:
1. Physical dependence on nicotine
Smoking triggers the release of dopamine in your brain, causing you to feel happy and calm. Your brain craves the chemical and requires more of it to achieve the same effect. This is the starting point of addiction.
2. Psychological dependence on routine
Emotional addiction involves the rituals and ingrained behaviors associated with smoking. When lighting up is no longer a conscious choice, the habit is very hard to break.
It’s important to identify and write down your smoking triggers and the strategies you’ll use to cope with them before you actually quit. Triggers may include:
1. Avoid the situation
Only go to non-smoking public places. Run errands during work breaks. Leave the room when others are smoking.
2. Change your smoking routine
Buy a brand you don’t like or put rubber bands around your pack to make you think twice before lighting up.
3. Substitute for the cigarette
Hold something in your hand in place of a cigarette. Chew gum or hard candy. Take a walk. Call a friend.
The most effective long-term approach to break nicotine addiction is to create an individual quit strategy with professional help. See the Cessation Resources listed below to find the help you need.
Within 20 minutes of smoking your last cigarette, your body begins to repair itself. The healing process continues for years:
Center for Disease Control and Prevention: How to Quit Smoking
Are you ready to quit smoking? Having a support system in place will help you on your path to becoming tobacco-free. Whether you prefer a group setting, online services, or to speak with someone over the phone, there’s a smoking cessation support program that’s right for you.
The Nevada Tobacco Quitline is a free phone-based service available to Nevada residents 13 years or older. The program provides one-on-one coaching and nicotine replacement therapy (patches, gum, or lozenges) for qualified individuals. Coaches will determine if you’re eligible to receive the nicotine replacement therapy.
The Quitline is also available online. Sign up to receive free access to special tools, a supportive team of quit coaches, and a community of others trying to become tobacco-free. Expert coaches help you overcome common barriers such as dealing with stress, fighting cravings, coping with irritability, and controlling weight gain.
Call 1-800-QUIT NOW from a Nevada area code phone or (1-800-784-8669) to start your quit journey today.
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 4am–10pm (PST)
Not On Tobacco (N-O-T) is the American Lung Association’s (ALA) voluntary program for teens who want to quit smoking. It is the most researched, most widely used, and most successful program of its kind in the United States.
N-O-T is effective, easy, and well-received by teens. Since 1999, more than 150,000 teens in 48 states have participated in the N-O-T program with a 21% quit rate. The program consists of 10 classes focused on group activities, discussions, journaling, and role-playing – either in school, or a community setting.
For more information on Not On Tobacco, or to schedule a class, contact the ALA at (702) 431-6333.
Freedom From Smoking (FFS), the American Lung Association’s adult cessation program, guides individuals through the quitting process with eight sessions over a 7-week period.
Focusing on a variety of evidence-based cessation practices, the clinic is delivered in a small group setting (up to 16 people) to give participants personalized attention and the support of their peers. To meet the needs of different learning styles, instruction includes lectures, group discussion, and skills practice.
For more information on Freedom From Smoking, or to schedule a class, contact Will Rucker at WRucker@lungs.org.
American Lung Association
3552 W Cheyenne Ave., Ste. 130
North Las Vegas, NV 89032
Funded by the CDC, the Asian Smokers’ Quitline is a nationwide Asian-language service operated by the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego. The free Quitline offers self-help materials, referral to local cessation programs, one-on-one phone counseling, and a free two-week starter kit of nicotine patches.
Services are available in four languages: Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, and Vietnamese. The Quitline also provides information to friends and family members of tobacco users.
Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin): 1-800-838-8917
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8am–9pm (PST)
Voicemail and recorded messages are available 24 hours a day.