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Why are cigarettes so addictive?
The nicotine found in cigarettes and other tobacco products is known to be very addictive. Have you ever wondered why that is, or what nicotine is doing inside your body? Here, we explain all you need to know to answer the question: Why are cigarettes so addictive? VCP755104 VCP738412
Welcome to Quitter's Circle
Quitting smoking can be a challenging journey. But like many of life’s challenges, you can make it through with support from others. That’s where Quitter’s Circle comes in. Quitter’s Circle was created by Pfizer and the American Lung Association with one goal: to help smokers successfully ditch smoking. Join us as you navigate the quit-smoking journey, or as you support someone who is quitting, by exploring QuittersCircle.com and downloading the Quitter’s Circle app. Quitter’s Circle is for those who are looking to quit smoking and those supporting a loved one who is quitting smoking. We believe that smoking cigarettes is a complex addiction—physical, mental and social—so we’re bringing together communities to cheer on quitters as they tackle the cigarette-free challenge. Quitter’s Circle arms both quitters and supporters with information on how to reach smokefree success. Within the Quitter’s Circle app, smokers can create a Quit Plan, receive Quit Tips and most importantly, form a Quit Team of supporters by inviting friends and family to participate. These tools are designed to help quitters stay on track with their goals. The app also lets friends and family send motivational messages and see a quitter’s latest achievements in real time. Quitter’s Circle provides important resources and information on how to quit smoking. On the website, as well as on the app, you’ll find ways to connect with a doctor and a discussion guide to start the quitting conversation with a healthcare provider. You can read up on the articles we publish each week, whether it’s our guide to smoking cessation according to stock photos, an infographic on how quitting can make you rich(er), or other fun and educational articles meant to help quitters stay on track and inspire each smokefree moment. If you're a supporter and want more information about what your loved one is going through and how to help them, log onto the Quitter’s Circle app to join a loved one’s Quit Team. There, you can show your support by sending your quitter emoticons, stickers and more. You’ll also receive Support Tips to help you be the best supporter possible in the moments your quitter needs it most. The website also has tons of articles just for supporters! Because we know support is important, we want to educate friends and family on how to best encourage smokers on their way to smokefree success. No matter where in the quit journey you are, or whether you’re helping a quitter along, we have something for you here at Quitter’s Circle. Please make yourself at home online or on the app. We hope you’ll keep coming back for more ‘quitspiration’! If you like, follow us on Facebook and Twitter and sign up for our email newsletter. Learn more about the app, and find links to download, right here. PP-CHM-USA-0661-02
Your Quit Day is tomorrow. In preparation, you met with your healthcare provider to build a quit plan, which may include counseling and medication. You set your quit date. You talked to your family and friends about your quit, asked for their support, and even practiced dealing with doubters. You downloaded the Quitter’s Circle app to receive tips and encouragement, and to help you track your quit. You’ve identified your smoking triggers and how to avoid them. You’ve even created a Quit Kit, found a new route to work, and wrote down your reasons to quit.   After weeks of preparing to quit, you’re ready to take the next big step in your journey and put down the cigarettes once and for all. But before you do so, there are a few more tasks to keep in mind. Check out these things to do the day before your Quit Date.   PP-CHM-USA-1392-02
After you reminded the team that practice makes perfect… Or lent a hand for their big move... Or let your mentee know their hard work was paying off… Or assured your best friend they made the right choice… Or offered up the motivation they needed to make it through a tough day… Show them you’re here to help them achieve one more goal. Whether you realize it or not, there are many times when your support for a friend or family member has given them an extra boost of confidence to achieve their goals. Why should quitting smoking be any different? So whether they’re thinking about quitting or they've already begun, reach out and let them know "You got this!” and that you’re there for them, just like you always have been. PP-CHM-USA-1435
After Mom and Dad helped you take your first solo steps... And taught you to build sturdy towers… And your friends assured you that you totally have game... And Dad trusted you (enough) to let you get him home...   And family rallied you through your last few finals...   And friends told you that you’d chosen well.... Let them help you conquer one more goal. Few things in life are achieved without the help and support of family and friends. Why should quitting smoking be any different? Even if it’s just for the confidence to know that you can do it, reach out to those around you for the support you need to tackle this big accomplishment of living smokefree. You got this. PP-CHM-USA-1457
We told you our recommended steps to quit smoking, and we’ve created a handy check-list to help you stay on track. Make it your phone background, or print it out and pin to your fridge, desk, or bulletin board. Accomplish these tasks, and some of your own, in the order that works for you. Each check may bring you closer to being smokefree! FOR THOSE OF YOU ON THE GO, DOWNLOAD YOUR QUIT SMOKING CHECKLIST HERE:   DOWNLOAD   PP-CHM-USA-1441
You know you want to quit smoking. But what do you do next? There is no single, or “best” way to quit smoking – the steps you take along your quit journey and the order of these steps will be unique to you. That said, there are certain techniques that can help people quit. Take the following recommendations into account as you plan your quit journey, make note of what works for you, and add your own helpful steps based on previous quit smoking attempts. This time, you could be well on your way to quitting! Pick a quit date When would you like to go smokefree? It doesn’t have to be tomorrow, as quitting smoking takes planning and preparation. Consider setting your quit date at least a month in the future and take that time to prepare for quit smoking success.   Write down your reasons for quitting You probably know that quitting smoking has a variety of health benefits. Which potential benefits are you most looking forward to? What are some other reasons you want to quit? Maybe you’re quitting so you can save money for that vacation you’ve always wanted. If you play a sport, maybe you’re quitting to improve your endurance. Or perhaps you’re tired of the hassle of smoking. Are you quitting with someone or something else in mind? A child, grandchild, or for the health of your pet? Are you quitting because you want to be a better role model for someone? Whatever the reasons, keep them in your back pocket, on the refrigerator door, or in the car so you keep your motivation nearby throughout your quit journey.   Notice the times, places, and situations that make you crave a cigarette You might smoke while driving to work, or in the morning while drinking coffee. Maybe you light-up with others at work. Noticing these patterns may help you prepare a plan to break them. Come up with alternative routes and activities to help avoid these urges. You can also build a quit kit to help you manage urges. Fill it with something to do with your hands, such as a stress ball, healthy snacks like nuts and carrots, and items to replace cigarettes in your mouth. Whether that’s a lollipop, breath mint, or gum, figure out what works for you.   Talk to your doctor about quitting smoking Support from a healthcare provider, which includes counseling and medication, can double your chances of quitting smoking. Tell them about your reasons for quitting, and the smoking triggers you’ve identified.  They will help you make a quit plan. Consider using a quit-smoking medication and talk to your doctor about which treatment might be right for you. If you’ve tried one in the past, let your doctor know, so you can discuss if that one or a difference choice best meets your needs. Once you have your medication in hand, make sure you understand how to use it by reading the package or talking to your doctor or pharmacist. Some medications require you to start before Quit Day, or have dosages that depend on how much you smoke.   Create your circle of support You have many people around you who want you to succeed in quitting smoking. Let them know that you are quitting and could use their encouragement. Many smokers say that support of family and friends is very important to help their quit journey. If you are a non-smoker or former smoker who wants to support someone’s quit journey, let that person know you’re there for them, and ready to discuss quitting when they are.   Set goals and rewards for staying smokefree Give yourself short- and long-term goals to look forward to early on in your quit.  Reward yourself for being 24 hours smokefree, and keep it up as you reach 48 hours, one week, one month, and beyond! When you’re tracking your smoking patterns, keep track of the time you spend on smoke breaks — the average smoker takes about 5 minutes per break. Calculate how you breaks add up, and set a goal for yourself to use that time for something else. Likewise, the national average cost of $6.28 per pack adds up quickly. Make a goal to buy something with your money saved, perhaps for those smokefree rewards we talked about above. Did you know the Quitter’s Circle app can help you keep track of your dollars saved?   Learn from the past If you have tried quitting before, learn from those experiences. Think about what helped you and what didn’t. Use that information to build your quit plan. This will help increase your chances of quitting. Keep trying – it’s normal to have multiple quit attempts. You can do it!   PP-CHM-USA-1447
Your quit date isn’t just a number on a calendar – it’s the first day of your smokefree life. There are many factors that go into quitting smoking, so it’s important to pick a quit date that’s right for you – but when? Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer, because there’s really no perfect time to quit.  Choose a time when you’re feeling motivated and can focus on preparing for the quit journey and sticking to your goals.  Read on for some tips to keep in mind as you choose the right time to quit smoking. Important Pre-Quit Day Steps The weeks leading up to your quit date are very important. During these weeks, you’ll want to take many steps to prepare to fully commit on your quit date. Some include: Scheduling an appointment with a healthcare provider Writing down your reasons for quitting smoking Telling your friends and family about your decision to quit Once you’ve finished these steps, you may be better prepared to start your quit journey on your quit date. So make sure to pick a quit date that allows for that lead-up time to get ready. Make Quitting Part of Your Routine Some people may try to start their quit journeys while they’re traveling, on vacation, or otherwise out of their everyday routine. Getting away from stressors and being in a completely new place may work for you. However, if you see yourself setting your quit date while away from your daily routine, make sure you consider how you will adjust when you get back. The reality is that you will have to keep up the quit while in your normal routine. Recognize the points during your day when you crave a cigarette. Is it in the car on the way to work, or with your afternoon coffee? Plan to take an alternate route to work while singing along to the radio, or drink tea instead of coffee. These little adjustments may help you avoid your triggers. Stress Free Could Mean Smokefree When choosing a quit date, you may want to avoid times when you have added levels of stress. This will leave you with more time and energy to focus on your quit. So if you’re an accountant, it may not be a good idea to quit during tax season. If you work in education, August and September mean back to school – which could be a stressful time. If you work in sales or retail, the holiday season is probably very hectic for you. Take added seasonal and work stressors into account when preparing to quit. Plan Ahead Though it may seem like a nice gesture, quitting smoking on your spouse or best friend’s birthday won’t necessarily make for your best party experience. An absence of nicotine could make you feel irritable and anxious – not a good way to spend the birthday of a loved one. Setting a quit date a month before someone’s birthday might work better – think about how proud you’ll be to celebrate their day smokefree! Slow and Steady Remember: quitting smoking isn’t a sprint. In fact, thought and preparation could help you be successful in your quit attempt. Look back on any previous times you tried to quit smoking. It’s important to reflect on previous quit attempts to understand what to do differently this time. Build on what worked and figure out new ways to address anything that tripped you up. Whether you’re quitting on your own, through a Quitter’s Circle Group Quit, or with a friend, plan to quit during a time that makes sense for you. You can do it! PP-CHM-USA-1434
You may already know about some health benefits of quitting smoking. But what about some of the lesser-known advantages of saying goodbye to cigarettes? Here are four possible benefits of quitting smoking that you may not know: 1. You may sleep more. In one study based on 4,500 adults in the United States, former smokers reported taking less time to fall asleep compared to current smokers. So when quitting smoking, you may be able to get more sleep. 2. Your dating life may improve. A 2013 online poll about dating smokers found that out of 1,020 respondents, who were comprised of non-smokers, former smokers, and current smokers, nearly 89 percent of respondents said they prefer not to date someone who smokes. And 51 percent said that taking a smoke break when out on a first date is unacceptable. Break up with cigarettes, and you may improve your chances of connecting with that special someone. 3. You may be happier after quitting. While some smokers worry that quitting means giving up a source of stress relief and enjoyment, one study found that quitting smoking can potentially lead to feeling happier. In a 2009 UK survey of 879 former smokers*, nearly 70 percent reported feeling happier after quitting smoking.  Most survey participants (88%) had quit smoking for more than one year. So don’t let the short term challenges of quitting smoking deter you. Take a moment to envision the ways your life may be positively impacted. If you need some inspiration, visit our Facebook page, to see the Quitter’s Circle community discuss life after quitting. 4. By you quitting, your child may be less likely to smoke as a teenager. One study of 3,000 third graders found that kids whose parents had quit smoking were 39 percent less likely to become smokers at 17-18 years old compared to children whose parents continued to smoke. If you’re a parent, sibling, or close relative of a child, you can help set a good example for the next generation. Now that you’ve learned some of the potential additional gains you may receive from quitting smoking, take a moment to reflect on which benefits might mean the most to you. Write them down and keep this list handy as a reminder if you need extra motivation to stay focused on your quit journey. *Pfizer provided some funding for this survey. PP-CHM-USA-1175
Amazing occurrences happen every day, and yet they are often moments that are easily taken for granted. But with just a little more free time to observe the world around us, we can transform these experiences into quality memories. Luckily, time is one of the things you may gain after quitting smoking. On average, it takes about five minutes to smoke a cigarette. When you’re not using that time to smoke, it adds up – potentially up to over an hour and a half each day. Use that extra time to savor the little things in life, minutes you can be fully present for – without smoking breaks pulling you away. Read on for some reminders of little moments you may experience on any given day. [SLIDESHOW] Get started on your quit journey and notice the minutes you used to spend smoking add up. With all of your newfound time to spend with family and friends, be sure to savor every moment.     PP-CHM-USA-1393 
Some smokers worry that quitting smoking may mean changing up their social activities and losing their “smoking buddies.”  But not to fear, people who quit smoking may actually expand their social networks and make new friends! While those who quit smoking may have less contact with smokers, they may also have the opportunity to try new activities and make new friends with other non-smokers. The Social Side of Quitting For many people, smoking is a social activity, so quitting smoking may mean a shift in your relationships with people with whom you once smoked. Let these smoking buddies know that you’re quitting, and that you’d rather hang out with them in smokefree places. Going bowling or mini golfing can unite many for an enjoyable evening. Make sure to share your reasons for quitting with them – maybe they’ll be inspired to quit with you! Then, you can be each other’s supporters throughout the journey. Wondering how to make new friends as you begin your quit journey? Read on for some tips on expanding your social circle that may compliment your quit. Say Sayonara to Smoking Stigmas Do you ever avoid social situations because you’re worried about what people will think about your smoking? Some smokers may feel judged, which can lead them to hide their smoking status from friends and family. This in turn may prevent smokers from reaching out to find support and help when they quit smoking. When you quit, those stigmas may be a thing of the past. Additionally, you can enjoy spending time with family and friends without having to step out for a cigarette. Here are some things you might be able to look forward to doing with others without having to take a smoke break: Watching a movie in the theatre Going on a road trip Eating dinner at a favorite restaurant The possibilities are endless – and so are the numbers of people you could meet. New Hobbies With New Friends Once you’re smokefree, there will be plenty of new things that you may want to try. Your health benefits may start the first day you’re smokefree, and can continue to increase the longer you keep it up. Celebrate your wellness by taking up a new hobby. Your community likely has plenty of options for having fun and meeting new people. Sports Leagues and Fitness Groups Once your shortness of breath decreases and you are able to breathe better, why not look into fitness classes, or join a walking group or sports league? Exercising can help reduce urges to smoke, and may also help your mind, lungs, and heart function better. Plus, you’ll get to meet like-minded people who are also looking to keep fit! Cooking Classes and Gardening One yummy benefit of quitting smoking is that your taste buds start to repair, and food can taste better. Celebrate by asking friends new and old to check out new restaurants with you. Additionally, your sense of smell starts to improve. Join a gardening club, and once you harvest your veggies, invite the club over to make a homemade meal and savor the smells that come with it. Cooking can help us feel more in control of our environment, and it connects us to the people we’re cooking with. Book Clubs and More There are so many options for meeting new people in smokefree settings. Whatever your hobby is, be it movie watching, comic book reading, stamp collecting, or going to sporting events in smokefree stadiums, it’s likely that there are people who would jump at the opportunity to enjoy it with you. Look into groups forming at the library, rec center or music store. Be in Good Company As of 2002, there are more former smokers than current smokers in the U.S. People embark on quit journeys each day, and it’s very possible that your new friends might have quit smoking stories or tips of their own. Once you quit, you’ll get to join the ranks of millions of non-smokers and former smokers, all potential new friends who can inspire your quit journey every day.   PP-CHM-USA-1391