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A good quit-smoking program can help a person quit smoking by providing support and encouragement. Programs are available for you to attend in-person, by telephone, or online (on the Internet). Look for a program that is led by someone who has had training in helping people quit smoking.

Better in-person smoking cessation programs:

  • Have at least 4 to 7 sessions that include self-help materials and individual or group counseling.
  • Have sessions that last at least 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Last at least a month past your quit date. Some programs spend several weeks preparing for the quit date. The program is often most useful after you have quit.
  • Are affordable. Many programs are free or low-cost. Others cost more. Some health insurance companies or employee assistance programs (EAPs) cover the cost of smoking cessation programs.

Telephone-based quit-smoking programs link callers to trained counselors. These counselors can help you put together a quit plan that is tailored to how you smoke, and they can also help you avoid common problems. This resource is available free of cost by calling the national tobacco quitline: 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669).

Online quit-smoking programs may work for you if your schedule doesn't allow you to attend in-person programs. There are many programs, such as the one at www.smokefree.gov, that offer programs and resources to help you quit smoking.

Most state health departments can recommend a program in your area.

Change your quit date to match the program date. In many communities, programs are only offered 2 to 3 times a year. Keep this in mind as you plan your time line for quitting.

Avoid any program that promises to make quitting easy or that sounds like it has the only answer or a "secret" method that works better than any other method. There are no "magic bullets."

  • Quitting Smoking
  • Quitting Smoking: Getting Support
  • Quitting Smoking: Helping Someone Quit

By: Healthwise Staff Last Revised: August 15, 2013
Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
John Hughes, MD - Psychiatry

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