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When is the Right Time to Quit Smoking?
By the Quitter's Circle Staff
October 18, 2016

When is the Right Time to Quit Smoking?

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!


See additional quit smoking resources from our partner American Lung Association.