Essay on Smoking

500 words essay on  smoking.

One of the most common problems we are facing in today’s world which is killing people is smoking. A lot of people pick up this habit because of stress , personal issues and more. In fact, some even begin showing it off. When someone smokes a cigarette, they not only hurt themselves but everyone around them. It has many ill-effects on the human body which we will go through in the essay on smoking.

essay on smoking

Ill-Effects of Smoking

Tobacco can have a disastrous impact on our health. Nonetheless, people consume it daily for a long period of time till it’s too late. Nearly one billion people in the whole world smoke. It is a shocking figure as that 1 billion puts millions of people at risk along with themselves.

Cigarettes have a major impact on the lungs. Around a third of all cancer cases happen due to smoking. For instance, it can affect breathing and causes shortness of breath and coughing. Further, it also increases the risk of respiratory tract infection which ultimately reduces the quality of life.

In addition to these serious health consequences, smoking impacts the well-being of a person as well. It alters the sense of smell and taste. Further, it also reduces the ability to perform physical exercises.

It also hampers your physical appearances like giving yellow teeth and aged skin. You also get a greater risk of depression or anxiety . Smoking also affects our relationship with our family, friends and colleagues.

Most importantly, it is also an expensive habit. In other words, it entails heavy financial costs. Even though some people don’t have money to get by, they waste it on cigarettes because of their addiction.

How to Quit Smoking?

There are many ways through which one can quit smoking. The first one is preparing for the day when you will quit. It is not easy to quit a habit abruptly, so set a date to give yourself time to prepare mentally.

Further, you can also use NRTs for your nicotine dependence. They can reduce your craving and withdrawal symptoms. NRTs like skin patches, chewing gums, lozenges, nasal spray and inhalers can help greatly.

Moreover, you can also consider non-nicotine medications. They require a prescription so it is essential to talk to your doctor to get access to it. Most importantly, seek behavioural support. To tackle your dependence on nicotine, it is essential to get counselling services, self-materials or more to get through this phase.

One can also try alternative therapies if they want to try them. There is no harm in trying as long as you are determined to quit smoking. For instance, filters, smoking deterrents, e-cigarettes, acupuncture, cold laser therapy, yoga and more can work for some people.

Always remember that you cannot quit smoking instantly as it will be bad for you as well. Try cutting down on it and then slowly and steadily give it up altogether.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

Conclusion of the Essay on Smoking

Thus, if anyone is a slave to cigarettes, it is essential for them to understand that it is never too late to stop smoking. With the help and a good action plan, anyone can quit it for good. Moreover, the benefits will be evident within a few days of quitting.

FAQ of Essay on Smoking

Question 1: What are the effects of smoking?

Answer 1: Smoking has major effects like cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and more. It also increases the risk for tuberculosis, certain eye diseases, and problems with the immune system .

Question 2: Why should we avoid smoking?

Answer 2: We must avoid smoking as it can lengthen your life expectancy. Moreover, by not smoking, you decrease your risk of disease which includes lung cancer, throat cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, and more.

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Persuasive Essay Guide

Persuasive Essay About Smoking

Caleb S.

Persuasive Essay About Smoking - Making a Powerful Argument with Examples

Persuasive essay about smoking

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Are you wondering how to write your next persuasive essay about smoking?

Smoking has been one of the most controversial topics in our society for years. It is associated with many health risks and can be seen as a danger to both individuals and communities.

Writing an effective persuasive essay about smoking can help sway public opinion. It can also encourage people to make healthier choices and stop smoking. 

But where do you begin?

In this blog, we’ll provide some examples to get you started. So read on to get inspired!

Arrow Down

  • 1. What You Need To Know About Persuasive Essay
  • 2. Persuasive Essay Examples About Smoking
  • 3. Argumentative Essay About Smoking Examples
  • 4. Tips for Writing a Persuasive Essay About Smoking

What You Need To Know About Persuasive Essay

A persuasive essay is a type of writing that aims to convince its readers to take a certain stance or action. It often uses logical arguments and evidence to back up its argument in order to persuade readers.

It also utilizes rhetorical techniques such as ethos, pathos, and logos to make the argument more convincing. In other words, persuasive essays use facts and evidence as well as emotion to make their points.

A persuasive essay about smoking would use these techniques to convince its readers about any point about smoking. Check out an example below:

Simple persuasive essay about smoking

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Persuasive Essay Examples About Smoking

Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death in the world. It leads to adverse health effects, including lung cancer, heart disease, and damage to the respiratory tract. However, the number of people who smoke cigarettes has been on the rise globally.

A lot has been written on topics related to the effects of smoking. Reading essays about it can help you get an idea of what makes a good persuasive essay.

Here are some sample persuasive essays about smoking that you can use as inspiration for your own writing:

Persuasive speech on smoking outline

Persuasive essay about smoking should be banned

Persuasive essay about smoking pdf

Persuasive essay about smoking cannot relieve stress

Persuasive essay about smoking in public places

Speech about smoking is dangerous

Persuasive Essay About Smoking Introduction

Persuasive Essay About Stop Smoking

Short Persuasive Essay About Smoking

Stop Smoking Persuasive Speech

Check out some more persuasive essay examples on various other topics.

Argumentative Essay About Smoking Examples

An argumentative essay is a type of essay that uses facts and logical arguments to back up a point. It is similar to a persuasive essay but differs in that it utilizes more evidence than emotion.

If you’re looking to write an argumentative essay about smoking, here are some examples to get you started on the arguments of why you should not smoke.

Argumentative essay about smoking pdf

Argumentative essay about smoking in public places

Argumentative essay about smoking introduction

Check out the video below to find useful arguments against smoking:

Tips for Writing a Persuasive Essay About Smoking

You have read some examples of persuasive and argumentative essays about smoking. Now here are some tips that will help you craft a powerful essay on this topic.

Choose a Specific Angle

Select a particular perspective on the issue that you can use to form your argument. When talking about smoking, you can focus on any aspect such as the health risks, economic costs, or environmental impact.

Think about how you want to approach the topic. For instance, you could write about why smoking should be banned. 

Check out the list of persuasive essay topics to help you while you are thinking of an angle to choose!

Research the Facts

Before writing your essay, make sure to research the facts about smoking. This will give you reliable information to use in your arguments and evidence for why people should avoid smoking.

You can find and use credible data and information from reputable sources such as government websites, health organizations, and scientific studies. 

For instance, you should gather facts about health issues and negative effects of tobacco if arguing against smoking. Moreover, you should use and cite sources carefully.

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Make an Outline

The next step is to create an outline for your essay. This will help you organize your thoughts and make sure that all the points in your essay flow together logically.

Your outline should include the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. This will help ensure that your essay has a clear structure and argument.

Use Persuasive Language

When writing your essay, make sure to use persuasive language such as “it is necessary” or “people must be aware”. This will help you convey your message more effectively and emphasize the importance of your point.

Also, don’t forget to use rhetorical devices such as ethos, pathos, and logos to make your arguments more convincing. That is, you should incorporate emotion, personal experience, and logic into your arguments.

Introduce Opposing Arguments

Another important tip when writing a persuasive essay on smoking is to introduce opposing arguments. It will show that you are aware of the counterarguments and can provide evidence to refute them. This will help you strengthen your argument.

By doing this, your essay will come off as more balanced and objective, making it more convincing.

Finish Strong

Finally, make sure to finish your essay with a powerful conclusion. This will help you leave a lasting impression on your readers and reinforce the main points of your argument. You can end by summarizing the key points or giving some advice to the reader.

A powerful conclusion could either include food for thought or a call to action. So be sure to use persuasive language and make your conclusion strong.

To conclude,

By following these tips, you can write an effective and persuasive essay on smoking. Remember to research the facts, make an outline, and use persuasive language.

However, don't stress if you need expert help to write your essay! Our professional essay writing service is here for you!

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  • Quit smoking

Quitting smoking: 10 ways to resist tobacco cravings

Tobacco cravings can wear you down when you're trying to quit. Use these tips to reduce and resist cravings.

For most people who use tobacco, tobacco cravings or smoking urges can be strong. But you can stand up against these cravings.

When you feel an urge to use tobacco, keep in mind that even though the urge may be strong, it will likely pass within 5 to 10 minutes whether or not you smoke a cigarette or take a dip of chewing tobacco. Each time you resist a tobacco craving, you're one step closer to stopping tobacco use for good.

Here are 10 ways to help you resist the urge to smoke or use tobacco when a craving strikes.

1. Try nicotine replacement therapy

Ask your health care provider about nicotine replacement therapy. The options include:

  • Prescription nicotine in a nasal spray or inhaler
  • Nicotine patches, gum and lozenges you can buy without a prescription
  • Prescription non-nicotine stop-smoking drugs such as bupropion (Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL, others) and varenicline

Short-acting nicotine replacement therapies — such as nicotine gum, lozenges, nasal sprays or inhalers — can help you overcome intense cravings. These short-acting therapies are usually safe to use along with long-acting nicotine patches or one of the non-nicotine stop-smoking drugs.

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have had a lot of interest recently as a replacement for smoking traditional cigarettes. But e-cigarettes haven't proved to be safer or more effective than nicotine-replacement medications in helping people stop smoking.

2. Avoid triggers

Tobacco urges are likely to be strongest in the places where you smoked or chewed tobacco most often, such as at parties or bars, or at times when you were feeling stressed or sipping coffee. Find out your triggers and have a plan in place to avoid them or get through them without using tobacco.

Don't set yourself up for a smoking relapse. If you usually smoked while you talked on the phone, for instance, keep a pen and paper nearby to keep busy with doodling rather than smoking.

If you feel like you're going to give in to your tobacco craving, tell yourself that you must first wait 10 more minutes. Then do something to distract yourself during that time. Try going to a public smoke-free zone. These simple tricks may be enough to move you past your tobacco craving.

4. Chew on it

Give your mouth something to do to resist a tobacco craving. Chew on sugarless gum or hard candy. Or munch on raw carrots, nuts or sunflower seeds — something crunchy and tasty.

5. Don't have 'just one'

You might be tempted to have just one cigarette to satisfy a tobacco craving. But don't fool yourself into thinking that you can stop there. More often than not, having just one leads to one more. And you may end up using tobacco again.

6. Get physical

Physical activity can help distract you from tobacco cravings. Even short bursts of activity — such as running up and down the stairs a few times — can make a tobacco craving go away. Get out for a walk or jog.

If you're at home or in the office, try squats, deep knee bends, pushups, running in place, or walking up and down a set of stairs. If you don't like physical activity, try prayer, sewing, woodwork or writing in a journal. Or do chores for distraction, such as cleaning or filing papers.

7. Try relaxation techniques

Smoking may have been your way to deal with stress. Fighting back against a tobacco craving can itself be stressful. Take the edge off stress by trying ways to relax, such as deep breathing, muscle relaxation, yoga, visualization, massage or listening to calming music.

8. Call for reinforcements

Connect with a family member, friend or support group member for help in your effort to resist a tobacco craving. Chat on the phone, go for a walk, share a few laughs, or meet to talk and support each other. Counseling can be helpful too. A free telephone quit line — 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) — provides support and counseling.

9. Go online for support

Join an online stop-smoking program. Or read a quitter's blog and post encouraging thoughts for someone else who might be dealing with tobacco cravings. Learn from how others have handled their tobacco cravings.

10. Remind yourself of the benefits

Write down or say out loud why you want to stop smoking and resist tobacco cravings. These reasons might include:

  • Feeling better
  • Getting healthier
  • Sparing your loved ones from secondhand smoke
  • Saving money

Keep in mind that trying something to beat the urge to use tobacco is always better than doing nothing. And each time you resist a tobacco craving, you're one step closer to being tobacco-free.

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  • Rigotti NA. Overview of smoking cessation management in adults. Accessed March 23, 2022.
  • How to manage cravings. Accessed March 23, 2022.
  • Know your triggers. Accessed March 23, 2022.
  • AskMayoExpert. Tobacco use (adult). Mayo Clinic; 2021.
  • Broaddus, VC. Smoking cessation. In: Murray & Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. Elsevier; 2022. Accessed March 23, 2022.
  • Rigotti NA. Pharmacotherapy for smoking cessation in adults. Accessed March 23, 2022.
  • Park ER. Behavioral approaches to smoking cessation. Accessed March 23, 2022.
  • Making your plan to quit and planning your quit day. American Cancer Society. Accessed March 23, 2022.
  • US Preventive Services Task Force. Interventions for tobacco smoking cessation in adults, including pregnant persons: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement. JAMA. 2021; doi:10.1001/jama.2020.25019.

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Persuasive Essay Writing

Persuasive Essay About Smoking

Cathy A.

Craft an Engaging Persuasive Essay About Smoking: Examples & Tips

Published on: Jan 25, 2023

Last updated on: Jan 29, 2024

Persuasive Essay About Smoking

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Are you stuck on your persuasive essay about smoking? If so, don’t worry – it doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. 

What if we told you that learning to craft a compelling argument to persuade your reader was just a piece of cake? 

In this blog post, we'll provide tips and examples on writing an engaging persuasive essay on the dangers of smoking…all without breaking a sweat! 

So grab a cup of coffee, get comfortable, and let's get started!

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Persuasive Essay-Defined 

A persuasive essay is a form of academic writing that presents an argument in favor of a particular position, opinion, or viewpoint. 

It is usually written to convince the audience to take a certain action or adopt a specific viewpoint. 

The primary purpose of this type of essay is to provide evidence and arguments that support the writer's opinion.

In persuasive writing, the writer will often use facts, logic, and emotion to convince the reader that their stance is correct. 

The writer can persuade the reader to consider or agree with their point of view by presenting a well-researched and logically structured argument. 

The goal of a persuasive essay is not to sway the reader's opinion. It is to rather inform and educate them on a particular topic or issue. 

Check this free downloadable example of a persuasive essay about smoking!

Simple Persuasive essay about smoking

Read our extensive guide on persuasive essays to learn more about crafting a masterpiece every time. 

Persuasive Essay Examples About Smoking 

Are you a student looking for some useful tips to write an effective persuasive essay about the dangers of smoking? 

Look no further! Here are several great examples of persuasive essays that masterfully tackle the subject and persuade readers creatively.

Persuasive speech on the smoking outline

Persuasive essay about smoking should be banned

Persuasive essay about smoking pdf

Persuasive essay about smoking cannot relieve stress

Persuasive essay about smoking in public places

Speech about smoking is dangerous

For more examples about persuasive essays, check out our blog on persuasive essay examples .

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Argumentative Essay About Smoking Examples

Our examples can help you find the points that work best for your style and argument. 

Argumentative essay about smoking introduction

Argumentative essay about smoking pdf

Argumentative essay about smoking in public places

10 Tips for Writing a Persuasive Essay About Smoking 

Here are a few tips and tricks to make your persuasive essay about smoking stand out: 

1. Do Your Research

 Before you start writing, make sure to do thorough research on the topic of smoking and its effects. 

Look for primary and secondary sources that provide valuable information about the issue.

2. Create an Outline

An outline is essential when organizing your thoughts and ideas into a cohesive structure. This can help you organize your arguments and counterarguments.

Read our blog about creating a persuasive essay outline to master your next essay.

Check out this amazing video here!

3. Clearly Define the Issue

 Make sure your writing identifies the problem of smoking and why it should be stopped.

4. Highlight Consequences

 Show readers the possible negative impacts of smoking, like cancer, respiratory issues, and addiction.

5. Identity Solutions 

Provide viable solutions to the problem, such as cessation programs, cigarette alternatives, and lifestyle changes.

6. Be Research-Oriented  

Research facts about smoking and provide sources for those facts that can be used to support your argument.

7. Aim For the Emotions

Use powerful language and vivid imagery to draw readers in and make them feel like you do about smoking.

8. Use Personal Stories 

Share personal stories or anecdotes of people who have successfully quit smoking and those negatively impacted by it.

9. Include an Action Plan

Offer step-by-step instructions on how to quit smoking, and provide resources for assistance effectively.

10. Reference Experts 

Incorporate quotes and opinions from medical professionals, researchers, or other experts in the field.

These tips can help you write an effective persuasive essay about smoking and its negative effects on the body, mind, and society. 

When your next writing assignment has you feeling stuck, don't forget that essay examples about smoking are always available to break through writer's block.

And if you need help getting started, our expert essay writer at is more than happy to assist. 

Just give us your details, and our persuasive essay writer will start working on crafting a masterpiece. 

We provide top-notch essay writing service online to help you get the grades you deserve and boost your career.

Try our AI writing tool today to save time and effort!

Frequently Asked Questions

What would be a good thesis statement for smoking.

A good thesis statement for smoking could be: "Smoking has serious health risks that outweigh any perceived benefits, and its use should be strongly discouraged."

What are good topics for persuasive essays?

Good topics for persuasive essays include the effects of smoking on health, the dangers of second-hand smoke, the economic implications of tobacco taxes, and ways to reduce teenage smoking. 

These topics can be explored differently to provide a unique and engaging argument.

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essay ways to stop smoking


Essay on Stop Smoking

Students are often asked to write an essay on Stop Smoking in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on Stop Smoking


Smoking is a dangerous habit that harms our health and environment. It’s crucial to stop smoking for a better life and future.

The Dangers of Smoking

Smoking causes diseases like cancer and heart problems. It also harms others through secondhand smoke.

Ways to Quit

You can stop smoking by seeking help from doctors, using nicotine patches, or joining support groups.

Benefits of Quitting

Quitting smoking improves health, saves money, and protects loved ones from secondhand smoke.

Stopping smoking is challenging but vital. Let’s strive for a smoke-free world for a healthier future.

250 Words Essay on Stop Smoking

The detrimental effects of smoking.

Smoking is a habit that has been ingrained in numerous societies for centuries. Despite its prevalence, the deleterious effects of smoking on health are undeniable. Every puff of smoke inhaled introduces a cocktail of chemicals into the body, many of which are carcinogens. The result is a heightened risk of diseases such as lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

Smoking and Its Socioeconomic Impact

Beyond the health implications, smoking also presents significant socioeconomic challenges. The cost of tobacco products and healthcare for smoking-related illnesses can be financially crippling for individuals and families. Moreover, the loss of productivity due to illness and premature death contributes to economic stagnation.

The Power of Prevention

Prevention is the most effective strategy in combating the smoking epidemic. Educational campaigns highlighting the dangers of smoking, combined with regulations limiting tobacco advertising and sales, can significantly reduce smoking rates. Furthermore, support for quitting smoking, like counseling services and nicotine replacement therapies, should be readily accessible.

Personal Responsibility and Collective Action

Ultimately, the decision to stop smoking lies with the individual. However, societal support is crucial in facilitating this decision. Collective action can create an environment that discourages smoking and encourages healthier alternatives.

In conclusion, the negative implications of smoking necessitate immediate action. By understanding the risks, acknowledging the socioeconomic impact, promoting prevention, and encouraging personal responsibility, we can work towards a smoke-free future.

500 Words Essay on Stop Smoking

Smoking is a prevalent habit that has both individual and societal implications. Despite the widespread knowledge of its harmful effects, many individuals continue to smoke, often due to addiction or social pressure. This essay aims to explore the reasons why it is crucial to stop smoking and the benefits that can be derived from it.

The Health Hazards of Smoking

The primary reason to quit smoking revolves around health. Cigarette smoke is a toxic mix of over 7,000 chemicals, many of which are carcinogenic. Smoking is directly linked to lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, and chronic respiratory diseases. Moreover, it weakens the immune system, making smokers more susceptible to diseases. Secondhand smoke also poses severe risks, affecting non-smokers who are exposed to it.

The Economic Impact of Smoking

Smoking also has significant economic implications. The direct cost of smoking, such as the price of cigarettes, is just the tip of the iceberg. The indirect costs, including healthcare expenses and productivity loss due to smoking-related illnesses, are substantial. In the United States alone, the total economic cost of smoking is more than $300 billion a year.

Environmental Consequences

The environmental impact of smoking is often overlooked. Cigarette butts, which are non-biodegradable, are the most littered item worldwide. They contain toxins that can leach into the environment, causing soil, water, and air pollution. The production of tobacco also contributes to deforestation and loss of biodiversity.

The Social Aspect of Smoking

Smoking can also strain relationships. The smell of smoke can be off-putting to non-smokers, and the health risks associated with secondhand smoke can cause tension. Additionally, the time spent on smoking breaks can lead to social exclusion or missed opportunities.

Benefits of Quitting Smoking

Quitting smoking brings immediate and long-term benefits. Within 20 minutes of quitting, heart rate and blood pressure drop. Within a year, the risk of heart disease is halved. Over time, the risk of stroke, lung cancer, and other diseases decrease significantly. Financially, quitting smoking can save individuals thousands of dollars annually. Environmentally, quitting reduces pollution and waste. Socially, it can improve relationships and increase social inclusion.

In conclusion, the reasons to stop smoking are multifaceted, encompassing health, economic, environmental, and social aspects. Each cigarette smoked is a step towards disease, economic loss, environmental degradation, and social isolation. Conversely, each step towards quitting smoking is a step towards better health, financial savings, environmental preservation, and improved social relations. Therefore, it is crucial to promote smoking cessation for a healthier and more sustainable world.

That’s it! I hope the essay helped you.

If you’re looking for more, here are essays on other interesting topics:

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Why is quitting so hard?

Your personal stop smoking plan, identify your smoking triggers, coping with nicotine withdrawal symptoms, manage cigarette cravings, preventing weight gain after you stop smoking, medication and therapy to help you quit, what to do if you slip or relapse, helping a loved one to stop smoking, how to quit smoking.

Ready to stop smoking? These tips will help you kick the cigarette habit for good.

essay ways to stop smoking

We all know the health risks of smoking, but that doesn’t make it any easier to kick the habit. Whether you’re an occasional teen smoker or a lifetime pack-a-day smoker, quitting can be really tough.

Smoking tobacco is both a physical addiction and a psychological habit. The nicotine from cigarettes provides a temporary—and addictive—high. Eliminating that regular fix of nicotine causes your body to experience physical withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Because of nicotine’s “feel good” effect on the brain, you may turn to cigarettes as a quick and reliable way to boost your outlook, relieve stress, and unwind. Smoking can also be a way of coping with depression, anxiety, or even boredom. Quitting means finding different, healthier ways to cope with those feelings.

Smoking is also ingrained as a daily ritual. It may be an automatic response for you to smoke a cigarette with your morning coffee, while taking a break at work or school, or on your commute home at the end of a hectic day. Or maybe your friends, family, or colleagues smoke, and it’s become part of the way you relate with them.

To successfully stop smoking, you’ll need to address both the addiction and the habits and routines that go along with it. But it can be done. With the right support and quit plan, any smoker can kick the addiction—even if you’ve tried and failed multiple times before.

Speak to a Licensed Therapist

BetterHelp is an online therapy service that matches you to licensed, accredited therapists who can help with depression, anxiety, relationships, and more. Take the assessment and get matched with a therapist in as little as 48 hours.

While some smokers successfully quit by going cold turkey, most people do better with a tailored plan to keep themselves on track. A good quit plan addresses both the short-term challenge of stopping smoking and the long-term challenge of preventing relapse. It should also be tailored to your specific needs and smoking habits.

Questions to ask yourself

Take the time to think of what kind of smoker you are, which moments of your life call for a cigarette, and why. This will help you to identify which tips, techniques, or therapies may be most beneficial for you.

Are you a very heavy smoker (more than a pack a day)? Or are you more of a social smoker? Would a simple nicotine patch do the job?

Are there certain activities, places, or people you associate with smoking? Do you feel the need to smoke after every meal or whenever you break for coffee?

Do you reach for cigarettes when you’re feeling stressed or down? Or is your cigarette smoking linked to other addictions, such as alcohol or gambling ?

Start your stop smoking plan with START

S = Set a quit date.

Choose a date within the next two weeks, so you have enough time to prepare without losing your motivation to quit. If you mainly smoke at work, quit on the weekend, so you have a few days to adjust to the change.

T = Tell family, friends, and co-workers that you plan to quit.

Let your friends and family in on your plan to quit smoking and tell them you need their support and encouragement to stop. Look for a quit buddy who wants to stop smoking as well. You can help each other get through the rough times.

A = Anticipate and plan for the challenges you’ll face while quitting.

Most people who begin smoking again do so within the first three months. You can help yourself make it through by preparing ahead for common challenges, such as nicotine withdrawal and cigarette cravings.

R = Remove cigarettes and other tobacco products from your home, car, and work.

Throw away all of your cigarettes, lighters, ashtrays, and matches. Wash your clothes and freshen up anything that smells like smoke. Shampoo your car, clean your drapes and carpet, and steam your furniture.

T = Talk to your doctor about getting help to quit.

Your doctor can prescribe medication to help with withdrawal symptoms. If you can’t see a doctor, you can get many products over the counter at your local pharmacy, including nicotine patches, lozenges, and gum.

One of the best things you can do to help yourself quit is to identify the things that make you want to smoke, including specific situations, activities, feelings, and people.

Keep a craving journal

A craving journal can help you zero in on your patterns and triggers. For a week or so leading up to your quit date, keep a log of your smoking. Note the moments in each day when you crave a cigarette:

  • What time was it?
  • How intense was the craving (on a scale of 1-10)?
  • What were you doing?
  • Who were you with?
  • How were you feeling?
  • How did you feel after smoking?

Do you smoke to relieve unpleasant feelings?

Many of us smoke to manage unpleasant feelings such as stress, depression, loneliness, and anxiety. When you have a bad day, it can seem like cigarettes are your only friend. As much comfort as cigarettes provide, though, it’s important to remember that there are healthier and more effective ways to keep unpleasant feelings in check. These may include exercising, meditating, relaxation strategies , or simple breathing exercises.

For many people, an important aspect of giving up smoking is to find alternate ways to handle these difficult feelings without turning to cigarettes. Even when cigarettes are no longer a part of your life, the painful and unpleasant feelings that may have prompted you to smoke in the past will still remain. So it’s worth spending some time thinking about the different ways you intend to deal with stressful situations and the daily irritations that would normally have you lighting up.

Tips for avoiding common triggers

Alcohol. Many people smoke when they drink . Try switching to non-alcoholic drinks or drink only in places where smoking inside is prohibited. Alternatively, try snacking on nuts, chewing on a cocktail stick or sucking on a straw.

Other smokers. When friends, family, and co-workers smoke around you, it can be doubly difficult to give up or avoid relapse. Talk about your decision to quit so people know they won’t be able to smoke when you’re in the car with them or taking a coffee break together. In your workplace, find non-smokers to have your breaks with or find other things to do, such as taking a walk.

End of a meal. For some smokers, ending a meal means lighting up, and the prospect of giving that up may appear daunting. However, you can try replacing that moment after a meal with something else, such as a piece of fruit, a healthy dessert, a square of chocolate, or a stick of gum.

Once you stop smoking, you’ll likely experience a number of physical symptoms as your body withdraws from nicotine. Nicotine withdrawal begins quickly, usually starting within an hour of the last cigarette and peaking two to three days later. Withdrawal symptoms can last for a few days to several weeks and differ from person to person.

Common nicotine withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Cigarette cravings
  • Irritability, frustration, or anger
  • Anxiety or nervousness
  • Difficulty concentrating Restlessness
  • Increased appetite
  • Increased coughing
  • Constipation or upset stomach
  • Decreased heart rate

As unpleasant as these withdrawal symptoms may be, it’s important to remember that they are only temporary. They will get better in a few weeks as the toxins are flushed from your body. In the meantime, let your friends and family know that you won’t be your usual self and ask for their understanding.

While avoiding smoking triggers will help reduce your urge to smoke, you probably can’t avoid cigarette cravings entirely. Fortunately, cravings don’t last long—typically, about 5 or 10 minutes. If you’re tempted to light up, remind yourself that the craving will soon pass and try to wait it out. It helps to be prepared in advance by having strategies to cope with cravings.

Distract yourself. Do the dishes, turn on the TV, take a shower, or call a friend. The activity doesn’t matter as long as it gets your mind off smoking.

Remind yourself why you quit. Focus on your reasons for quitting, including the health benefits (lowering your risk for heart disease and lung cancer, for example), improved appearance, money you’re saving, and enhanced self-esteem.

Get out of a tempting situation. Where you are or what you’re doing may be triggering the craving. If so, a change of scenery can make all the difference.

Reward yourself. Reinforce your victories. Whenever you triumph over a craving, give yourself a reward to keep yourself motivated.

Coping with cigarette cravings in the moment

Find an oral substitute – Keep other things around to pop in your mouth when cravings hit. Try mints, carrot or celery sticks, gum, or sunflower seeds. Or suck on a drinking straw.

Keep your mind busy – Read a book or magazine, listen to some music you love, do a crossword or Sudoku puzzle, or play an online game.

Keep your hands busy – Squeeze balls, pencils, or paper clips are good substitutes to satisfy that need for tactile stimulation.

Brush your teeth – The just-brushed, clean feeling can help banish cigarette cravings.

Drink water – Slowly drink a large glass of water. Not only will it help the craving pass, but staying hydrated helps minimize the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.

Light something else – Instead of lighting a cigarette, light a candle or some incense.

Get active – Go for a walk, do some jumping jacks or pushups, try some yoga stretches, or run around the block.

Try to relax – Do something that calms you down, such as taking a warm bath, meditating, reading a book, or practicing deep breathing exercises.

Go somewhere smoking is not permitted – Step into a public building, store, mall, coffee shop, or movie theatre, for example.

Smoking acts as an appetite suppressant, so gaining weight is a common concern for many of us when we decide to give up cigarettes. You may even be using it as a reason not to quit. While it’s true that many smokers put on weight within six months of stopping smoking, the gain is usually small—about five pounds on average—and that initial gain decreases over time. It’s also important to remember that carrying a few extra pounds for a few months won’t hurt your heart as much as smoking does. However, gaining weight is NOT inevitable when you stop smoking.

Smoking dampens your sense of smell and taste, so after you quit food will often seem more appealing. You may also gain weight if you replace the oral gratification of smoking with eating unhealthy comfort foods. Therefore, it’s important to find other, healthy ways to deal with unpleasant feelings such as stress, anxiety, or boredom rather than  mindless, emotional eating .

Nurture yourself. Instead of turning to cigarettes or food when you feel stressed, anxious, or depressed, learn new ways to quickly soothe yourself . Listen to uplifting music, play with a pet, or sip a cup of hot tea, for example.

Eat healthy, varied meals. Eat plenty of fruit, vegetables, and healthy fats . Avoid sugary food , sodas, fried, and convenience food.

Learn to eat mindfully. Emotional eating tends to be automatic and virtually mindless. It’s easy to polish off a tub of ice cream while zoning out in front of the TV or staring at your phone. But by removing distractions when you eat, it’s easier to focus on how much you’re eating and tune into your body and how you’re really feeling. Are you really still hungry or eating for another reason?

Drink lots of water. Drinking at least six to eight 8 oz. glasses will help you feel full and keep you from eating when you’re not hungry. Water will also help flush toxins from your body.

Take a walk. Not only will it help you burn calories and keep the weight off , but it will also help alleviate feelings of stress and frustration that accompany smoking withdrawal.

Snack on guilt-free foods. Good choices include sugar-free gum, carrot and celery sticks, or sliced bell peppers or jicama.

There are many different methods that have successfully helped people to kick the smoking habit. While you may be successful with the first method you try, more likely you’ll have to try a number of different methods or a combination of treatments to find the ones that work best for you.


Smoking cessation medications can ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. They are most effective when used as part of a comprehensive stop smoking program monitored by your physician. Talk to your doctor about your options and whether an anti-smoking medication is right for you. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved options are:

Nicotine replacement therapy. Nicotine replacement therapy involves “replacing” cigarettes with other nicotine substitutes, such as nicotine gum, patch, lozenge, inhaler, or nasal spray. It relieves some of the withdrawal symptoms by delivering small and steady doses of nicotine into your body without the tars and poisonous gases found in cigarettes. This type of treatment helps you focus on breaking your psychological addiction and makes it easier to concentrate on learning new behaviors and coping skills.

Non-nicotine medication. These medications help you stop smoking by reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms without the use of nicotine. Medications such as bupropion (Zyban) and varenicline (Chantix, Champix) are intended for short-term use only.

What you need to know about e-cigarettes (vaping)

While some people find that vaping can help them to stop smoking, the FDA has not approved vaping as a method of smoking cessation. And recent news reports have even linked vaping to severe lung disease, prompting many questions about the safety of vaping. Here’s what you need to know:

  • In the United States, the FDA does not regulate e-cigarette products.
  • The FDA warns that vaping is “not safe for youth, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not currently use tobacco products.”
  • It’s hard to always know exactly what’s in e-cigarettes.
  • The liquid used in some e-cigarettes contains nicotine, which has many negative health effects. It can lead to high blood pressure and diabetes and can be especially dangerous to the developing brains of children and teens.
  • There is no information available about the long-term effects vaping can have on your health.
  • Until more is known, federal and state authorities recommend avoiding all vaping.

To learn more, read: Vaping: The Health Risks and How to Quit

Alternative therapies

There are several things you can do to stop smoking that don’t involve nicotine replacement therapy, vaping, or prescription medications. These include:

Hypnosis – This is a popular option that has produced good results for many smokers struggling to quit. Forget anything you may have seen from stage hypnotists, hypnosis works by getting you into a deeply relaxed state where you are open to suggestions that strengthen your resolve to stop smoking and increase your negative feelings toward cigarettes.

Acupuncture – One of the oldest known medical techniques, acupuncture is believed to work by triggering the release of endorphins (natural pain relievers) that allow the body to relax. As a smoking cessation aid, acupuncture can be helpful in managing smoking withdrawal symptoms.

Behavioral Therapy – Nicotine addiction is related to the habitual behaviors or rituals involved in smoking. Behavior therapy focuses on learning new coping skills and breaking those habits.

Motivational Therapies – Self-help books and websites can provide a number of ways to motivate yourself to give up smoking. One well known example is calculating the monetary savings. Some people have been able to find the motivation to quit just by calculating how much money they will save. It may be enough to pay for a summer vacation.

Smokeless or spit tobacco is NOT a healthy alternative to smoking

Smokeless tobacco, otherwise known as spit or chewing tobacco, is not a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes. It contains the same addictive chemical, nicotine, contained in cigarettes. In fact, the amount of nicotine absorbed from smokeless tobacco can be 3 to 4 times the amount delivered by a cigarette.

Most people try to stop smoking several times before they kick the habit for good, so don’t beat yourself up if you slip up and smoke a cigarette. Instead, turn the relapse into a rebound by learning from your mistake. Analyze what happened right before you started smoking again, identify the triggers or trouble spots you ran into, and make a new stop-smoking plan that eliminates them.

It’s also important to emphasize the difference between a slip and a relapse. If you start smoking again, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get back on the wagon. You can choose to learn from the slip and let it motivate you to try harder or you can use it as an excuse to go back to your smoking habit. But the choice is yours. A slip doesn’t have to turn into a full-blown relapse.

You’re not a failure if you slip up. It doesn’t mean you can’t quit for good.

Don’t let a slip become a mudslide. Throw out the rest of the pack. It’s important to get back on the non-smoking track as soon as possible.

Look back at your quit log and feel good about the time you went without smoking.

Find the trigger. Exactly what was it that made you smoke again? Decide how you will cope with that issue the next time it comes up.

Learn from your experience. What has been most helpful? What didn’t work?

Are you using a medicine to help you quit? Call your doctor if you start smoking again. Some medicines cannot be used if you’re smoking at the same time.

It’s important to remember that you cannot make a friend or loved one give up cigarettes; the decision has to be theirs. But if they do make the decision to stop smoking, you can offer support and encouragement and try to ease the stress of quitting. Investigate the different treatment options available and talk them through with the smoker; just be careful never to preach or judge. You can also help a smoker overcome cravings by pursuing other activities with them, and by keeping smoking substitutes, such as gum, on hand.

If a loved one slips or relapses, don’t make them feel guilty. Congratulate them on the time they went without cigarettes and encourage them to try again. Your support can make all the difference in helping your loved one eventually kick the habit for good.

Helping a teen to quit

Most smokers try their first cigarette around the age of 11, and many are addicted by the time they turn 14. The use of e-cigarettes (vaping) has also soared dramatically in recent years. While the health implications of vaping aren’t yet fully known, the FDA warns that it’s not safe for teens and we do know that teens who vape are more likely to begin smoking cigarettes.

[Read: Vaping: The Health Risks and How to Quit]

This can be worrying for parents, but it’s important to appreciate the unique challenges and peer pressure teens face when it comes to quitting smoking (or vaping). While the decision to give up has to come from the teen smoker him- or herself, there are still plenty of ways for you to help.

Tips for parents of teens who smoke or vape

  • Find out why your teen is smoking or vaping; they may want to be accepted by their peers or be seeking attention from you. Rather than making threats or ultimatums, talk about what changes can be made in their life to help them stop smoking.
  • If your child agrees to quit, be patient and supportive as they go through the process.
  • Set a good example by not smoking yourself. Parents who smoke are more likely to have kids who smoke.
  • Know if your kids have friends that smoke or vape. Talk with them about how to refuse a cigarette or e-cigarette.
  • Explain the health dangers and the unpleasant side effects smoking can have on their appearance (such as bad breath, discolored teeth and nails).
  • Establish a smoke-free policy in your home. Don’t allow anyone to smoke or vape indoors at any time.

Hotlines and support

Visit  or call the quitline at 1-800-784-8669.

Take steps NOW to stop smoking  or call the helpline at 0300 123 1044.

Visit  Health Canada  or call the helpline at 1-866-366-3667.

QuitNow  or call 13 7848.

Nicotine Anonymous  offers a 12-Step program modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous with meetings in many different countries.

More Information

  • Join Freedom From Smoking - Smoking cessation program. (American Lung Association)
  • How to Quit Using Tobacco - Dealing with both the mental and physical addiction. (American Cancer Society)
  • How to Help Someone Quit Smoking - General hints for friends and family supporting someone who is quitting. (American Cancer Society)
  • Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders. (2013). In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . American Psychiatric Association. Link
  • Lopez-Quintero, C., Pérez de los Cobos, J., Hasin, D. S., Okuda, M., Wang, S., Grant, B. F., & Blanco, C. (2011). Probability and predictors of transition from first use to dependence on nicotine, alcohol, cannabis, and cocaine: Results of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 115(1–2), 120–130. Link
  • Quit Smoking | Smokefree. (n.d.). Retrieved August 2, 2021, from Link
  • US Preventive Services Task Force. (2021). Interventions for Tobacco Smoking Cessation in Adults, Including Pregnant Persons: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement. JAMA, 325(3), 265–279. Link
  • Leone, F. T., Zhang, Y., Evers-Casey, S., Evins, A. E., Eakin, M. N., Fathi, J., Fennig, K., Folan, P., Galiatsatos, P., Gogineni, H., Kantrow, S., Kathuria, H., Lamphere, T., Neptune, E., Pacheco, M. C., Pakhale, S., Prezant, D., Sachs, D. P. L., Toll, B., … Farber, H. J. (2020). Initiating Pharmacologic Treatment in Tobacco-Dependent Adults. An Official American Thoracic Society Clinical Practice Guideline. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 202(2), e5–e31. Link
  • Complementary Health Approaches for Smoking Cessation: What the Science Says. (n.d.). NCCIH. Retrieved August 2, 2021, from Link
  • Miller, Jacqueline W., Timothy S. Naimi, Robert D. Brewer, and Sherry Everett Jones. Binge Drinking and Associated Health Risk Behaviors among High School Students. Pediatrics 119, no. 1 (January 2007): 76–85. Link
  • O’Brien, Charles P. Evidence-Based Treatments of Addiction. FOCUS 9, no. 1 (January 1, 2011): 107–17. Link

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How to Realistically Quit Smoking: 24+ Steps to Take Right Now

  • How to Quit
  • Quitting Quickly
  • Coping with Withdrawals
  • Relapse Reminders

What to Do Instead of Smoking

Quitting smoking is challenging. You may have heard the term, “quitting nicotine is harder than quitting heroin,” and according to some research, that sentiment is true.

Combining nicotine dependence and the habitual nature of smoking is what makes it such a brutal vice to overcome, but some ways you can quit smoking include:

  • Medications
  • Cessation devices such as vapes, inhalers, gums, and patches

This article discusses the various quit-smoking aids available, how to get through nicotine withdrawals, and resources to help you when it seems impossible to quit.

Catherine Falls Commercial / Getty Images

How to Quit Smoking: Goal Setting and Available Options

Smoking tobacco can lead to various harmful health effects, such as various cancers , chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) , and heart disease. It is the leading cause of preventable death.

Because of that, medical professionals have worked tirelessly to help smokers kick the habit through different quit-smoking aids and cessation devices.

Natural/Herbal Therapies

There are several natural approaches people can take when it comes to quitting smoking. They include:

  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture involves the use of thin needles placed into various points in the body to help relieve cravings and help people quit smoking. For smoking, the needles are placed into multiple areas in the ear. Research shows that acupuncture can be a great help alongside other smoking cessation devices when quitting smoking.
  • Black pepper essential oils: While black pepper essential oil is not a miracle quit-smoking aid, research has shown that it can help reduce intense cigarette cravings in people trying to quit. To use this aid, you place one drop of the essential oil onto a tissue and inhale it for two minutes until the craving diminishes.
  • Fresh lime juice: While further research is needed, studies have found that lime juice could be just as effective, if not more so, than nicotine gum. While experiencing a craving, people can consume lime juice to help abstain from smoking.
  • Meditation: Meditation and mindfulness involve retraining the mind to improve overall well-being. According to research, using meditation as a way to help quit smoking can be effective in some people by changing the way they cope with specific scenarios that cause them to smoke while also managing the negative feelings of withdrawal.

Statistics on Quitting Smoking

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), over half of all adult smokers attempt to quit each year. Only 8% of people who try to stop succeed in the six to 12 months following their attempt. While that number may be low and disheartening, it doesn't mean that your attempts have to go the same way. It also doesn't mean that you can't continue to try to quit even if you've relapsed.

Medical Ways 

Those who need medical intervention to quit smoking can try oral medications designed to turn people “off” of smoking. These medications include:

  • Chantix (varenicline)
  • Zyban (bupropion, Wellbutrin)

These medications work by:

  • Reducing cravings for nicotine and withdrawal symptoms
  • Mimicking the effects of nicotine on the brain so that you don’t feel the urge to smoke
  • Reduces enjoyment in smoking by stimulating parts of the brain that nicotine usually attaches to

Medications, although viable and effective, do come with side effects. That said, since these medications are designed for temporary use, the health benefits far outweigh the side effects that could develop when taking these medications.

Disparities and Limitations of Current Treatments

While there are many therapies available to quit smoking, cost, and accessibility remains a factor for many people who smoke. Medications and other smoking cessation aids and treatments could end up costing more than a person can afford, or their insurance does not cover it. This can make the stress of quitting smoking harder to deal with and, thus, more challenging to achieve. Many states have toll-free quit lines that can connect people trying to quit with free counseling and some nicotine replacement therapies.

Cold Turkey

Cold turkey is the most natural approach to quitting smoking. It involves picking a quit date and completely removing tobacco from your life in one go.

People who quit this way will have to deal with nicotine withdrawal symptoms that are much worse than if they used a smoking aid. However, quitting smoking cold turkey can actually be a viable way to kick the habit.

Many studies examined the success rates of quitting smoking cold turkey and found that cutting it out and sticking to it may be the most effective way to quit smoking over all other types. However, it depends on how heavily a person smokes.

Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms

People may experience several withdrawal symptoms when quitting smoking, some of the most common including:

  • Strong urges or cravings to smoke
  • Irritability, mood swings, feeling upset
  • Feeling restless or jumpy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Weight gain and increased appetite
  • An increase or new onset of feelings of anxiety, sadness, or depression


Hypnotherapy has been studied as a possible aid in quitting smoking. A hypnotherapist leads a person into a meditative and focused mental state. This is designed to open someone’s mind up to more suggestive advice. Then, the hypnotherapist targets specific triggers and adverse outcomes of smoking to help “trick” the mind into quitting.

Research surrounding hypnotherapy as a quit-smoking aid has found that it could be beneficial for those who want to quit, but when used alone, people may find that success rates are low. The best way to use hypnotherapy to quit smoking is alongside other cessation aids, such as nicotine replacement therapy.

Counseling for quitting smoking involves meeting with a mental healthcare specialist to discuss the impacts smoking has on a person, as well as their current lifestyle and state of mind. In recent studies, counseling has been shown to increase the chances that a person succeeds when quitting smoking by roughly 40–80%. Individual and group counseling can be used effectively.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)

Nicotine replacement therapy, or NRT, works by delivering small amounts of nicotine to the body while a person refrains from smoking cigarettes. Over time, the amount of nicotine is lowered.

This gradual method helps to reduce the withdrawal symptoms that develop in people who are quitting smoking while slowly decreasing the amount of nicotine they get over time.

Some possible NRTs include:

  • Nasal sprays

Each person will choose the right amount of nicotine they need in their NRT based on a conversation about how much they smoke per day. By getting the proper level of nicotine in the body through NRTs, successfully quitting can be more manageable.

Quitting While Pregnant

Smoking while pregnant can severely harm a developing fetus, so it’s vital to quit as soon as possible after finding out you are pregnant. The best way to quit smoking during pregnancy is by using NRTs or e-cigarettes, as they have been rated safe to use. However, you should speak to your healthcare provider when quitting smoking to discuss what would be best for you based on your current level of health, how much you smoke, and where you are in your pregnancy. If other members of your household smoke, they should also quit.  

Quit Smoking Apps

Many people turn to quit-smoking apps to help them get over their cravings. Many apps will offer different information and support to stay on track, such as:

  • How your health has changed while you're quitting
  • How much money you're saving by not purchasing cigarettes
  • Daily rewards

The research regarding the success of these apps is limited and mixed. That said, many people can see success if they adhere to the app and stay strong during the process.

Can You Quit Tobacco Quickly?

Quitting tobacco can be a difficult journey because of withdrawal symptoms and the fact that people have to change a large part of their lifestyle to suit their new non-smoking ways. Because of this, it may be challenging to quit quickly.

That said, specific methods of quitting smoking, such as cold turkey, are effective at ridding the body of nicotine fast. Even if you do happen to quit smoking quickly, you will likely still experience withdrawal symptoms for two to four weeks after your last cigarette.

Quitting Cannabis and Cannabis Withdrawals

Unlike nicotine and tobacco, cannabis does not have a high rate of addiction. Those who smoke cannabis have a 10% chance of becoming addicted. This makes it easier to quit than cigarettes. That said, there are still some withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting cannabis, such as:

  • Sleep disturbances, having difficulty falling asleep, or feeling fatigued throughout the day
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Increased feelings of anxiety, anger, or aggression
  • Cravings for cannabis
  • Abdominal pain
  • Tremors or shaking
  • Fever or chills

How to Get Through Nicotine Withdrawals

Dealing with nicotine withdrawals can make a person feel as though they are losing their mind. The mental and physical symptoms of withdrawal can be challenging to cope with, even if you’re aware that it’s simply the nicotine leaving your body.

To cope with these withdrawals, you can:

  • Avoid certain situations or activities that trigger you to smoke
  • Find a substitute for smoking, such as chewing gum, vegetables, or hard candy to keep your mouth busy
  • Deep breathing exercises while cravings are strong
  • Reminding yourself that the feelings will pass
  • Take a walk or engage in other physical activities you enjoy
  • Reduce caffeine and sugar intake
  • Meditate or practice mindfulness
  • Develop stress and relaxation techniques to self-soothe when dealing with the mental aspects of withdrawal
  • Seek out support from friends, family, or a support group

Knowing and Avoiding Triggers

When quitting smoking, you’re making a good decision for your future. But there will be triggers that may prompt you to smoke in everyday life. The first thing to do to manage those is to get to know what they are and avoid them. You can do this by assessing the emotional feelings that drive you to smoke, figuring out how to cope with them differently, and avoiding triggers, such as other smokers, as best you can. SmokeFree.Gov suggests:

  • Finding a replacement activity
  • Keeping your hands or mouth busy
  • Getting out to exercise
  • Changing your routine
  • Talking about emotions you’re feeling with a trusted confidante
  • Listening to calming music
  • Practicing deep breathing

Reminders If You Relapse

Since quitting smoking is so hard, it’s normal to have a relapse . In fact, it can take anywhere from eight to 10 attempts to succeed.

So, if you do relapse, it’s important to go easy on yourself and give yourself some grace. Quitting smoking is the hardest thing that many people will have to do in their lifetime, and knowing that can make a relapse much easier to deal with.

Other ways to approach another attempt after a relapse include:

  • Staying positive: Every time you try to quit smoking, you’ll be a little closer to becoming a person who doesn’t smoke. Don’t let negativity weigh you down, and think positively about your next attempt.
  • Learn from any mistakes: Pay attention to what drove the relapse and then work on eliminating that trigger the next time you try to quit.
  • Set a new plan of action: Even if you relapsed, you don’t have to accept defeat. Set a new action plan in motion and stick to it again.
  • Regroup: If you tried cold turkey and relapsed, maybe on the next attempt, you could try a new approach, such as using NRTs. There is no harm in getting help.

There are many things you can do instead of smoking while going through withdrawals and dealing with cravings. They can include:

  • Chewing gum
  • Sucking on hard candy, suckers, or straws
  • Keeping fresh, low-calorie vegetables on hand, such as carrots or celery, to chew on when you have a craving
  • Calling a friend to help combat a craving
  • Squeezing a handball
  • Beading or needlework
  • Deep breathing exercises
  • Talking to someone about how you’re feeling
  • Taking a shower or bath
  • Telling yourself no out loud when you feel close to giving in to a craving
  • Practicing affirmations about how much better your health will be once you quit
  • Wearing a rubber band around your wrist and smacking it when you’re up against an intense craving

Choosing the Right Way to Quit

There is no right or wrong way to quit as long as you succeed eventually. The critical thing to remember is that although quitting smoking is challenging, you can do it with the right help and support in place.

Resources to Support Those Working to Quit Smoking

There are many resources you can turn to if you want to quit smoking. They include:

  • American Cancer Society Quit for Life
  • American Lung Association Lung Helpline & Tobacco Quitline
  • National Cancer Institute
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Be Tobacco Free
  • American Lung Association Freedom from Smoking
  • Nicotine Anonymous

These resources are available to people who need support when trying to quit, whether it be someone to talk to when going through a terrible period of cravings and withdrawal to meetings and community support.

Nicotine Anonymous has meetings all over the country that could help connect you with other people who are quitting smoking as a way to push you toward success.  

Quitting smoking is one of the hardest things you will ever have to do, and if you've tried to quit before, you already know that. While the physical addiction is challenging in and of itself, the mental habit can be just as hard to break because of how used to smoking you may be in specific situations.

While quitting is difficult, dealing with the consequences of long-term smoking is something that no one wants to have to face. That's why it's vital to stop, even if it takes 100 tries. The more you try to quit, the closer you will be to becoming a person who used to smoke.

If you need help, contact your healthcare provider and support resources. With the right mindset, know-how, and support team, you can do anything, including quitting smoking.

USCF Health. Nicotine dependence .

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking.

Wang YY, Liu Z, Wu Y, Zhang O, Chen M, Huang LL, He XQ, Wu GY, Yang JS. Acupuncture for smoking cessation in Hong Kong: A prospective multicenter observational study . Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:2865831. doi:10.1155/2016/2865831

Weleff J, Dore S, Anand A, Barnett BS. Black pepper  (Piper nigrum)  for tobacco withdrawal: A case report . Case Rep Psychiatry. 2022 Dec 9;2022:5908769. doi:10.1155/2022/5908769

Nisaa, Z. Zafar, A. Zafar, F. Efficacy of a smoking cessation intervention using the natural agents . Int Journ Collab Res Intern Med Pub Health. 2018;10(2):809-815.

Jackson S, Brown J, Norris E, Livingstone-Banks J, Hayes E, Lindson N. Mindfulness for smoking cessation . Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2022 Apr 14;4(4):CD013696. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD013696.pub2

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. What it's like to quit smoking .

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How quit smoking medicines work .

Martins RS, Junaid MU, Khan MS, Aziz N, Fazal ZZ, Umoodi M, Shah F, Khan JA. Factors motivating smoking cessation: A cross-sectional study in a lower-middle-income country . BMC Public Health. 2021 Jul 18;21(1):1419. doi:10.1186/s12889-021-11477-2

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 7 common withdrawal symptoms and what you can do about them .

Lourmière G, Lacroix A, Girard M, Nubukpo P. Comparison of withdrawal symptom intensity between hypnosis and nicotine-replacement-therapies: A pilot study . Am J Clin Hypn. 2022 Jan;64(3):263-276. doi:10.1080/00029157.2021.1877105

Lancaster T, Stead LF. Individual behavioural counselling for smoking cessation . Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017 Mar 31;3(3):CD001292. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD001292.pub3

UK National Health Service. Stop smoking in pregnancy .

Regmi K, Kassim N, Ahmad N, Tuah NA.  Effectiveness of mobile apps for smoking cessation: A review .  Tob Prev Cessat . 2017;3:12. Published 2017 Apr 12. doi:10.18332/tpc/7008

Better Health. What to expect when you quit smoking.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Addiction (marijuana or cannabis use disorder) .

Bonnet U, Preuss UW. The cannabis withdrawal syndrome: Current insights . Subst Abuse Rehabil. 2017 Apr 27;8:9-37. doi:10.2147/SAR.S109576

NIH National Cancer Institute. Handling nicotine withdrawal and triggers when you decide to quit tobacco .

SmokeFree.Gov. Know your triggers .

Chaiton M, Diemert L, Cohen JE, Bondy SJ, Selby P, Philipneri A, Schwartz R. Estimating the number of quit attempts it takes to quit smoking successfully in a longitudinal cohort of smokers. BMJ Open. 2016 Jun 9;6(6):e011045. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-011045

NHS Inform. Stopping Smoking After a Relapse.

American Cancer Society. Help for cravings and tough situations while you're quitting tobacco .

SmokeFree.Gov. Fight cravings .

By Angelica Bottaro Bottaro has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and an Advanced Diploma in Journalism. She is based in Canada.

Home — Essay Samples — Nursing & Health — Addictions — Smoking

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Essays About Smoking

Smoking essay, types of essay about smoking.

  • Cause and Effect Essay: This type of essay focuses on the causes and effects of smoking. It discusses why people start smoking and the consequences of smoking on both the smoker and those around them.
  • Argumentative Essay: This essay type aims to persuade the reader about the negative effects of smoking. It presents an argument and provides supporting evidence to convince the reader that smoking is harmful and should be avoided.
  • Persuasive Essay: Similar to an argumentative essay, this type of essay aims to persuade the reader to quit smoking. It presents facts, statistics, and other relevant information to convince the reader to stop smoking.

Smoking Essay Example: Cause and Effect

  • Identify the causes of smoking: Start by examining why people start smoking in the first place. Is it peer pressure, addiction, stress, or curiosity? Understanding the reasons why people smoke is crucial in creating an effective cause and effect essay.
  • Discuss the effects of smoking: Highlight the impact smoking has on an individual's health and the environment. Discuss the risks associated with smoking, such as lung cancer, heart disease, and respiratory problems, and explain how smoking affects non-smokers through secondhand smoke.
  • Use reliable sources: To make your essay more convincing, ensure that you use credible sources to back up your claims. Use scientific studies, government reports, and medical journals to support your arguments.
  • Provide statistical evidence: Incorporate statistical data to make your essay more impactful. Use figures to show the number of people who smoke, the effects of smoking on the environment, and the costs associated with smoking.
  • Offer solutions: Conclude your essay by suggesting solutions to the problem of smoking. Encourage smokers to quit by outlining the benefits of quitting smoking and offering resources for those who want to quit.

Smoking: Argumentative Essay

  • Choose a clear position: The writer should choose a side on the issue of smoking, either for or against it, and be clear in presenting their stance.
  • Gather evidence: Research and collect facts and statistics to support the writer's argument. They can find data from reliable sources like scientific journals, government reports, and reputable news organizations.
  • Address counterarguments: A good argumentative essay will acknowledge opposing viewpoints and then provide a counterargument to refute them.
  • Use persuasive language: The writer should use persuasive language to convince the reader of their position. This includes using rhetorical devices, such as ethos, pathos, and logos, to appeal to the reader's emotions and logic.
  • Provide a clear conclusion: The writer should summarize the key points of their argument and reiterate their stance in the conclusion.

Persuasive Essay on Smoking

  • Identify your audience and their beliefs about smoking.
  • Present compelling evidence to support your argument, such as statistics, research studies, and personal anecdotes.
  • Use emotional appeals, such as stories or images that show the negative impact of smoking.
  • Address potential counterarguments and refute them effectively.
  • Use strong and clear language to persuade the reader to take action.
  • When choosing a topic for a smoking persuasive essay, consider a specific aspect of smoking that you would like to persuade the audience to act upon.

Hook Examples for Smoking Essays

Anecdotal hook.

Imagine a teenager taking their first puff of a cigarette, unaware of the lifelong addiction they're about to face. This scenario illustrates the pervasive issue of smoking among young people.

Question Hook

Is the pleasure derived from smoking worth the serious health risks it poses? Dive into the contentious debate over tobacco use and its consequences.

Quotation Hook

"Smoking is a habit that drains your money and kills you slowly, one puff after another." — Unknown. Explore the financial and health impacts of smoking in today's society.

Statistical or Factual Hook

Did you know that smoking is responsible for nearly 8 million deaths worldwide each year? Examine the alarming statistics and data associated with tobacco-related illnesses.

Definition Hook

What exactly is smoking, and what are the various forms it takes? Delve into the definitions of smoking, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and emerging alternatives like e-cigarettes.

Rhetorical Question Hook

Can we truly call ourselves a smoke-free generation when new nicotine delivery devices are enticing young people? Investigate the impact of vaping and e-cigarettes on the youth.

Historical Hook

Trace the history of smoking, from its ancient roots to its prevalence in different cultures and societies. Explore how perceptions of smoking have evolved over time.

Contrast Hook

Contrast the images of the suave, cigarette-smoking characters from classic films with the grim reality of tobacco-related diseases and addiction in the modern world.

Narrative Hook

Walk in the shoes of a lifelong smoker as they recount their journey from that first cigarette to a battle with addiction and the quest to quit. Their story reflects the struggles of many.

Shocking Statement Hook

Prepare to uncover the disturbing truth about smoking—how it not only harms the smoker but also affects non-smokers through secondhand smoke exposure. It's an issue that goes beyond personal choice.

Quitting Smoking: Strategies for Success

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How To Write A Smoking Essay That Will Blow Your Classmates out of the Water

Writing a Smoking Essay. Complete Actionable Guide

A smoking essay might not be your first choice, but it is a common enough topic, whether it is assigned by a professor or left to your choice. Today we’ll take you through the paces of creating a compelling piece, share fresh ideas for writing teen smoking essays, and tackle the specifics of the essential parts of any paper, including an introduction and a conclusion.

Why Choose a Smoking Essay?

If you are free to select any topic, why would you open this can of worms? There are several compelling arguments in favor, such as:

  • A smoking essay can fit any type of writing assignment. You can craft an argumentative essay about smoking, a persuasive piece, or even a narration about someone’s struggle with quitting. It’s a rare case of a one-size-fits-all topic.
  • There is an endless number of  environmental essay topics ideas . From the reasons and history of smoking to health and economic impact, as well as psychological and physiological factors that make quitting so challenging.
  • A staggering number of reliable sources are available online. You won’t have to dig deep to find medical or economic research, there are thousands of papers published in peer-reviewed journals, ready and waiting for you to use them. 

Essential Considerations for Your Essay on Smoking

Whether you are writing a teenage smoking essay or a study of health-related issues, you need to stay objective and avoid including any judgment into your assignment. Even if you are firmly against smoking, do not let emotions direct your writing. You should also keep your language tolerant and free of offensive remarks or generalizations.

The rule of thumb is to keep your piece academic. It is an essay about smoking cigarettes you have to submit to your professor, not a blog post to share with friends.

How to Generate Endless Smoking Essay Topic Ideas

At first, it might seem that every theme has been covered by countless generations of your predecessors. However, there are ways to add a new spin to the dullest of topics. We’ll share a unique approach to generating new ideas and take the teenage smoking essay as an example. To make it fresh and exciting, you can:

  • Add a historic twist to your topic. For instance, research the teenage smoking statistics through the years and theorize the factors that influence the numbers.
  • Compare the data across the globe. You can select the best scale for your paper, comparing smoking rates in the neighboring cities, states, or countries.
  • Look at the question from an unexpected perspective. For instance, research how the adoption of social media influenced smoking or whether music preferences can be related to this habit.

The latter approach on our list will generate endless ideas for writing teen smoking essays. Select the one that fits your interests or is the easiest to research, depending on the time and effort you are willing to put into essay writing .

How To Write An Essay About Smoking Cigarettes

A smoking essay follows the same rules as an academic paper on any other topic. You start with an introduction, fill the body paragraphs with individual points, and wrap up using a conclusion. The filling of your “essay sandwich” will depend on the topic, but we can tell for sure what your opening and closing paragraphs should be like.

Smoking Essay Introduction

Whether you are working on an argumentative essay about smoking or a persuasive paper, your introduction is nothing but a vessel for a thesis statement. It is the core of your essay, and its absence is the first strike against you. Properly constructed thesis sums up your point of view on the economic research topics and lists the critical points you are about to highlight. If you allude to the opposing views in your thesis statement, the professor is sure to add extra points to your grade.

The first sentence is crucial for your essay, as it sets the tone and makes the first impression. Make it surprising, exciting, powerful with facts, statistics, or vivid images, and it will become a hook to lure the reader in deeper. 

Round up the introduction with a transition to your first body passage and the point it will make. Otherwise, your essay might seem disjointed and patchy. Alternatively, you can use the first couple of sentences of the body paragraph as a transition.

Smoking Essay Conclusion

Any argumentative and persuasive essay on smoking must include a short conclusion. In the final passage, return to your thesis statement and repeat it in other words, highlighting the points you have made throughout the body paragraphs. You can also add final thoughts or even a personal opinion at the end to round up your assignment.

Think of the conclusion as a mirror reflection of your introduction. Start with a transition from the last body paragraph, follow it with a retelling of your thesis statement, and complete the passage with a powerful parting thought that will stay with the reader. After all, everyone remembers the first and last points most vividly, and your opening and closing sentences are likely to have a significant influence on the final grade.

Bonus Tips on How to Write a Persuasive Essay About Smoking

With the most challenging parts of the smoking essay out of the way, here are a couple of parting tips to ensure your paper gets the highest grade possible:

  • Do not rely on samples you find online to guide your writing. You can never tell what grade a random essay about smoking cigarettes received. Unless you use winning submissions from essay competitions, you might copy faulty techniques and data into your paper and get a reduced grade.
  • Do not forget to include references after the conclusion and cite the sources throughout the paper. Otherwise, you might get accused of academic dishonesty and ruin your academic record. Ask your professor about the appropriate citation style if you are not sure whether you should use APA, MLA, or Chicago.
  • Do not submit your smoking essay without editing and proofreading first. The best thing you can do is leave the piece alone for a day or two and come back to it with fresh eyes and mind to check for redundancies, illogical argumentation, and irrelevant examples. Professional editing software, such as Grammarly, will help with most typos and glaring errors. Still, it is up to you to go through the paper a couple of times before submission to ensure it is as close to perfection as it can get.
  • Do not be shy about getting help with writing smoking essays if you are out of time. Professional writers can take over any step of the writing process, from generating ideas to the final round of proofreading. Contact our agents or skip straight to the order form if you need our help to complete this assignment.

We hope our advice and ideas for writing teen smoking essays help you get out of the slump and produce a flawless piece of writing worthy of an A. For extra assistance with choosing the topic, outlining, writing, and editing, reach out to our support managers .

Benefits of Quitting

  • Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking
  • Cardiovascular Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking
  • Respiratory Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking
  • Cancer-Related Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking
  • Reproductive Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking
  • Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking Over Time
  • Additional Resources

Quitting smoking is one of the most important actions people can take to improve their health. This is true regardless of their age or how long they have been smoking. 1

Quitting smoking 1 :

  • improves health status and enhances quality of life.
  • reduces the risk of premature death and can add as much as 10 years to life expectancy.
  • reduces the risk for many adverse health effects, including poor reproductive health outcomes, cardiovascular diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cancer.
  • benefits people already diagnosed with coronary heart disease or COPD.
  • benefits the health of pregnant women and their fetuses and babies.
  • reduces the financial burden that smoking places on people who smoke, healthcare systems, and society.

While quitting earlier in life yields greater health benefits, quitting smoking is beneficial to health at any age. Even people who have smoked for many years or have smoked heavily will benefit from quitting. 1

Quitting smoking is the single best way to protect family members, coworkers, friends, and others from the health risks associated with breathing secondhand smoke. 2

Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking - Improves health and Increases life expectancy; Lowers risk of 12 types of cancer; Lowers risk of cardiovascular diseases; Lowers risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); Lowers risk of some poor reproductive health outcomes; Benefits people who have already been diagnosed with coronary heart disease or COPD; Benefits people at any age - even people who have smoked for years or have smoked heavily will benefits from quitting

Quitting smoking is one of the most important actions people who smoke can take to reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease.

doctor listening to patient's heartbeat

  • reduces the risk of disease and death from cardiovascular disease.
  • reduces markers of inflammation and hypercoagulability.
  • leads to rapid improvement in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels.
  • reduces the development of subclinical atherosclerosis and slows its progression over time.
  • reduces the risk of coronary heart disease with risk falling sharply 1-2 years after cessation and then declining more slowly over the longer term.
  • reduces the risk of disease and death from stroke with risk approaching that of never smokers after cessation.
  • reduces the risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm, with risk reduction increasing with time since cessation.
  • may reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation, sudden cardiac death, heart failure, venous thromboembolism, and peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

People already diagnosed with coronary heart disease also benefit from quitting smoking.

Quitting smoking after a diagnosis of coronary heart disease 1 :

  • reduces the risk of premature death.
  • reduces the risk of death from heart disease,
  • reduces the risk of having a first heart attack or another heart attack.

Quitting smoking is one of the most important actions people who smoke can take to reduce their risk for respiratory diseases.

woman with her arms over her head taking a deep breath outside

Quitting smoking: 1,2

  • reduces the risk of developing COPD.
  • among those with COPD, slows the progression of COPD and reduces the loss of lung function over time.
  • reduces respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, sputum production, wheezing).
  • reduces respiratory infections (e.g. bronchitis, pneumonia).
  • may improve lung function, reduce symptoms, and improve treatment outcomes among persons with asthma.

Quitting smoking is one of the most important actions people who smoke can take to reduce their risk for cancer.

Quitting smoking reduces the risk of 12 different cancers, including 1 :

  • acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
  • cancer of the lung
  • colon and rectum
  • mouth and throat (oral cavity and pharynx)
  • voice box (larynx)

For cancer survivors, quitting smoking may improve prognosis and reduce risk of premature death.

Quitting Smoking Lowers Risk of 12 Types of Cancer - Mouth and Throat (oral cavity and pharynx); Voice Box (larynx); Esophagus; Lung; Acute Myeloic Leukemia (AML); Liver, Stomach, Pancreas; Kidney; Colon and Rectum; Bladder, Cervix

Quitting smoking is one of the most important actions women who smoke can take for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. The best time for women to quit smoking is before they try to get pregnant. But quitting at any time during pregnancy can benefit mother and baby’s health. 1

doctor checking pregnant patient's belly

Quitting smoking: 1

  • before pregnancy or early in pregnancy reduces the risk for a small-for-gestational-age baby.
  • during pregnancy reduces the risk of delivering a low birth weight baby.
  • early in pregnancy eliminates the adverse effects of smoking on fetal growth.
  • before pregnancy or early in pregnancy may reduce the risk of preterm delivery.

Over time, people who quit smoking see many benefits to their health. After quitting, the body begins a series of positive changes that continue for years. Some benefits of quitting smoking occur quickly while others occur over time: 1,2,3,4

Minutes after quitting

  • Heart rate drops

24 hours after quitting

  • Nicotine level in the blood drops to zero

Several days after quitting 

  • Carbon monoxide level in the blood drops to level of someone who does not smoke

1 to 12 months after quitting 

  • Coughing and shortness of breath decrease

1 to 2 years after quitting 

  • Risk of heart attack drops sharply

3 to 6 years after quitting 

  • Added risk of coronary heart disease drops by half

5 to 10 years after quitting 

  • Added risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, and voice box drops by half
  • Risk of stroke decreases

10 years after quitting 

  • Added risk of lung cancer drops by half after 10-15 years
  • Risk of cancers of the bladder, esophagus, and kidney decreases

15 years after quitting 

  • Risk of coronary heart disease drops to close to that of someone who does not smoke

20 years after quitting 

  • Risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, and voice box drops to close to that of someone who does not smoke
  • Risk of pancreatic cancer drops to close to that of someone who does not smoke
  • Added risk of cervical cancer drops by about half

Reduced risks refer to cessation in comparison to continued smoking.

Over time, people who quit smoking see many benefits to their health. After you smoke your last cigarette, your body begins a series of positive changes that continue for years.

Doctors and patient

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Smoking Cessation: A Report of the Surgeon General . Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2020. [accessed 2020 May 13].
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General . Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014 [accessed 2020 May 13]
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2010 [accessed 2020 May 13].
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: What It Means to You . Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2004 [accessed 2020 May 13].
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006 [accessed 2020 May 13].

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How to Write the Essay on “Ways to Quit Smoking”?

persuasive speech on smoking

In the process of your research on essay or persuasive speech on smoking , you will most likely find out that there is a certain study, which says this way works better than the other. Then you just turn the next page and see that there is another way to quit smoking and it’s better than all what you knew before. As you see, it’s a never-ending story. As an alternative, you may dedicate your paper to putting together a special quit smoking program, which can be applied by the others.

“Ways to Quit Smoking” Essay: Write a Hooking Introduction!

There are more than 4000 (!) health-damaging elements in tobacco. The element that makes a human being addicted to smoking is nicotine. Just a drop of information for you to include into the assignment! The thing is that the first two or three lines are the most crucial for they will either attract your readers or make them put the project aside for good. Make sure to start your paper with a hooking open theme to make sure your audience will be longing for more once they’re done with the intro.

Writing an Essay or a Speech About Smoking: Successful Quit-Smoking Plan

Once you decide to work out a booming quit smoking program, make sure to include the following elements in your essay:

  • Pharmacological products appropriate use . Those, who are severely addicted to the cigarettes, could consider using nicotine-replacement elements so that the body could gradually get rid of nicotine-addiction. Make sure to recommend your audience to consult their doctors before using the drugs.
  • One-to-one counseling. It is highly important to point out that qualified support helps smokers to identify their aims. Moreover, in the moments of weakness, a professional counselor will help to prevent relapse. Consider telephone counseling, one-to-one counseling, group support, internet programs for smokers, etc.
  • Measure & Record. Suggest your readers an idea to take a black-and-white look at how much they actually smoke, how much $ they pay each months (day, week, etc.) for their addiction and how much money they could actually save.
  • Improve Your Knowledge. Tell your readers to read the science, converse with the experienced experts in order to make 100% sure how smoking ruins their health and the health of the people around. Being aware of how the others have tackled life-saving challenge will give courage to those, who are still fighting the addiction!

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  • 23 April 2024

Any plan to make smoking obsolete is the right step

You have full access to this article via your institution.

Cigarette butts in an ashtray in Toulouse, southwestern France

Cigarette smoking could become a thing of the past under a UK law, inspired by New Zealand. Credit: Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty

“If cigarettes had never existed and were invented tomorrow, what would happen? They would not be legalized.”

Two years ago, Javed Khan, former head of the London-based children’s charity Barnardo’s, posed this question and then answered it . Smoking is the world’s single largest preventable cause of illness and death. Khan had been asked by the UK Department of Health and Social Care to lead a review on how to make smoking obsolete. In the United Kingdom, 12.9% of people over age 18 smoke; the goal is to cut that to less than 5% .

essay ways to stop smoking

Smoking bans are coming: what does the evidence say?

In the United Kingdom, people younger than 18 cannot legally buy cigarettes. But all too many start smoking during childhood. By 18, those young people are often well on the way to a lifelong habit. The legal age was raised from 16 in 2007; this change led to reduced levels of frequent smoking among young people ( C. Millet et al. Thorax 66 , 862–865; 2011 ). Khan’s team proposed to raise the minimum age further, by one year each year. Draft legislation approved by members of Parliament last week actually goes further: by 2027, no one born after 1 January 2009 would ever be able to buy tobacco legally.

If the law is passed, it will be only the second time that any country has enacted legislation to end smoking for future generations. Researchers, clinicians, policymakers and the leaders of all major UK political parties are in favour of it. At a time when many societies seem deeply polarized, it is reassuring to see this broad support. However, many practical details need to be ironed out, including how to monitor the law’s effects and avoid backsliding.

Modelling studies forecast that numbers of smokers will fall , but households with the lowest incomes tend to have more smokers and will need comparatively more support to stop smoking or to not take it up. At the same time, vigilance is needed to prevent the law from being undermined. In that respect, researchers need to study what has happened in New Zealand. In 2022, it was the first country to introduce legislation to end smoking for future generations, which helped to inspire the UK law. But there has since been a change of government — and, in a surprise move, New Zealand’s law was repealed.

essay ways to stop smoking

Smoking scars the immune system for years after quitting

The new administration said the law hampered freedom of choice, and it drew attention to the loss of revenue from taxation. It also argued that such a law is not needed, because smoking is in decline in New Zealand (as it is in many high-income countries), and contended that the law would drive unregulated tobacco sales.

These are legitimate concerns. But they were studied before the legislation was enacted. Some of the researchers involved in that process are shocked that a government that says it is committed to decisions “based on data and evidence” seems to be repeating arguments from the tobacco industry that do not stand up to scrutiny.

In some ways, it seems as if the tobacco industry has no need to be concerned. Partly because sales in high-income countries are falling, the industry prioritizes sales and marketing in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).Globally, around 1.3 billion people smoke, and 80% of them are in LMICs. But one evidence-informed law to end smoking for future generations could be just the start. New Zealand helped to inspire the UK policy. If the United Kingdom inspires others, two data points could become a trend that ushers in the end of the tobacco industry.

Cost–benefit analysis is not always appropriate when talking about protecting human health and saving lives, but the consensus of evidence is that the cost of treating tobacco-related illnesses and the days, months and years lost to ill health caused by smoking outweigh any monetary benefits from taxation. The original New Zealand proposal and the UK one are right. Tobacco, a product that kills its users, would never be permitted if it was introduced today.

Nature 628 , 690 (2024)


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Follow These Tips to Quit Smoking and Start Getting Healthy

  • Wellness & Prevention

This article was reviewed by our Baystate Health team to ensure medical accuracy.

Douglas C. Johnson, MD

It’s never too late to stop smoking, no matter what your age is.

“It’s hard to quit smoking because nicotine is so addictive, with most people needing several attempts before successfully stopping smoking,” said Dr. Douglas Johnson  of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine  at Baystate Medical Center .

Baystate experts explain the benefits of stopping smoking and how to develop a successful quit plan.

Smoking Causes Lung Cancer and Other Illnesses

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable, premature death and illness in the U.S., responsible for almost a half-million deaths each year .

“For perspective, over the past two years, smoking has killed more people in the United States (~1 million) than coronavirus (~750,000 as of November 2021). The COVID pandemic has also led to more smoking (not less) in the past 2 years, reversing a 50 year downward trend,” Dr. Quinn Pack , a preventive cardiologist in the Heart & Vascular Program  at Baystate Medical Center.

Although the rates of smoking have declined in recent years for all age groups, nearly 14% of adults in the United States continue to smoke . In Massachusetts, this number is closer to 12%.

Just about everyone should know by now that smoking is a major cause of lung cancer. But what some don’t realize is that smoking is also a major cause of heart disease.

According to Dr. Johnson, many of the patients he sees as a pulmonary physician have lung problems directly caused by smoking.

“Patients may be very short of breath with COPD, need oxygen, be on a ventilator, or have lung cancer. Other patients have heart disease, including heart attacks due to their smoking. These problems can ruin people’s lives while they are still living, knock decades off a life, and be tragic for one’s family. Quitting smoking is usually the best thing one can do to improve your health,” Dr. Johnson said.

The Negative Impact Smoking Has on Your Overall Health

“Smoking can result in all kinds of health problems, such as blood clots in the lungs or legs. Inhaled smoke doesn’t just travel into your lungs, but throughout your entire body. So, it’s a big misconception that smoking is only about lung cancer,” said Dr. Pack said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking can:

  • Raise triglycerides (a type of fat in your blood)
  • Lower "good" cholesterol (HDL)
  • Make blood sticky and more likely to clot, which can block blood flow to the heart and brain
  • Damage cells that line the blood vessels
  • Increase the buildup of plaque (fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances) in blood vessels
  • Cause thickening and narrowing of blood vessels.

The recent Surgeon General’s report, The Health Consequences of Smoking: 50 Years of Progress , provides new data that links smoking to:

  • Bone disease
  • Macular degeneration
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Bladder, kidney, and pancreatic cancer
  • Infertility (both male and female)
  • Poor pregnancy outcomes

What happens when you stop smoking?

Research shows that people who quit smoking, regardless of their age, are less likely to die from smoking-related illness than those who continue to smoke.

“There is no time like the present to quit. Medical studies have shown clearly that those in their sixties and seventies benefit from quitting. So, don’t delay. Do it now and you’ll be glad you did,” said Dr. Pack.

Health benefits of quitting smoking

The good news is that when you put your last cigarette down, the benefits begin immediately.

  • Within the first 20 minutes, your heart rate begins to drop back to normal levels.
  • Within 12 hours after quitting, the carbon monoxide levels in your blood drop.
  • 24 hours after quitting your risk of heart attack decreases.
  • After a couple of weeks your lung functions will improve.
  • In 1-9 months, coughing and shortness of breath decreases, cilla start to regain normal functioning in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.
  • In one year, the excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of someone who continues to smoke, and your heart attack risk drops dramatically.

What are smoking withdrawal symptoms?

When you stop smoking, make sure you’re prepared to handle nicotine withdrawal symptoms .

These could include:

  • Cravings: The more your resist the urge to smoke, the easier it will become over time.
  • Mood swings: Make sure you acknowledge your feelings and know they’ll pass. You may want to invest in your mental health and learn to manage stress .
  • Restlessness: This is normal. Make sure to reduce your caffeine intake so you don’t accidentally make the issue worse.
  • Weight gain: Quitting may increase your appetite. Develop a meal plan and stick with it .

Other symptoms like cold symptoms or dizziness are less common.


“Some quit ‘cold turkey’, but because nicotine is so addictive, many find that nicotine supplements such as the patch or gum, or medications such as Chantix, help them to quit. It can be harder to quit if someone else in your house smokes, so I encourage everyone in the house to try quitting together,” said Dr. Johnson.

Quitting smoking will not only improve your health, but will protect family members and others around you from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke .

“Secondhand smoke is especially dangerous for pregnant women, babies and children,” said Dr. Johnson. “It can contribute to a number of afflictions from cancer and heart disease to breathing problems and even make it harder for someone to have a baby.”

Second step: Come up with a quit plan

Consider joining a virtual movement, the Great American Smokeout . The American Cancer Society provides resources and programing, so you don’t have to do this on your own.

“Prepare today for tomorrow’s Great American Smokeout quit day by making a survival kit consisting of celery and carrot sticks to munch on and take the place of a cigarette, as well as hard candy and gum,” said Donna Hawk, RRT, AE-C, pulmonary rehab clinician at Baystate Medical Center.

“If you can’t quit on the Smokeout date for some reason, choose another day, perhaps one that has special meaning for you like your birthday or wedding anniversary, and stick with it,” said Dr. Pack. “The Smokeout is a great day to quit, but even just going 1 day without a cigarette is still an accomplishment!”

Strategies to include in your plan

Hawk offers the following additional tips to help you stop smoking:

  • Throw away all cigarettes right now, along with ashtrays, lighters and matches.
  • Make a list of your reasons for quitting. Keep it with you and read it when you are tempted to light up.
  • Limit alcohol consumption and your sugar intake. “This is a big deal. I recommend no alcohol for at least 1 month after a quit attempt,” Dr. Pack said.
  • Talk with any smokers in your home. Make a “indoor smoke-free” policy to assure that any smoking that occurs among household members is done outside, regardless of the weather.
  • Choose one place not to smoke where you do now, for example, your automobile.
  • If cigarettes give you an energy boost, try modest exercise like a brisk walk. Exercise is also useful for fighting cravings.

“Also, talk with your doctor and get some help. There are nicotine patches, nicotine gum, and various drugs and medications. If used correctly, these can double, triple or even quadruple your success rate in quitting,” added Dr. Pack.

Use the 4 Ds when you feel the urge to smoke

Hawk said when you feel the need for a cigarette, remember the 4 Ds:

  • Delay: Wait it out and after 5-6 minutes the urge usually fades away.
  • Deep Breath: Take 3 deep breaths. Hold the last one in for a few seconds and exhale slowly. This will relax you and also use the muscles normally used for inhaling.
  • Drink Water: Unless on a fluid restriction, drink plenty of water or fruit juice to help the nicotine leave your body.
  • Do Something Else: Keep occupied by doing crossword puzzles, reading a book, crocheting or knitting, writing letters, playing cards or doodling.

Never say “I quit smoking” because your resolve is broken if you have a cigarette. Better to say “I choose not to smoke.” This way you maintain your resolution even if you accidentally have a cigarette.

Where Can You Get Help to Stop Smoking?

For additional support in stopping smoking, call the American Lung Association’s Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872).

There is also a translation service offering 200 different languages and TTY for hearing impaired at 1-800-501-1068.

You can also call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for help. The toll-free number is operated by the National Cancer Institute and will connect you directly to your state’s tobacco quitline. State quitlines provide a variety of services, including brief advice about quitting, individual counseling, information on cessation medications (which can help callers decide whether to use cessation medications in their quit attempt and which medications to use, as well as helping them understand how to use these medications correctly), free or discounted medications, self-help materials, and referrals to other cessation resources.

“I also strongly recommend . It is paid for by cigarette taxes, is completely free to users, and has a text messaging program that can be very effective,” Dr. Pack said.

The Smokefree Text Messaging Program is SFTXT .

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Free How to Quit Smoking Essay

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Psychology , Smoking , Experience , Motivation , Friendship , Life , Management , Sociology

Published: 12/06/2019



Smoking is one of the habits that one can be badly addicted to. Smoking is a habit that is too difficult to quit. In a smoker’s life for instance, it can be a very big step for one to quit smoking, unfortunately this step is not easy to take. This does not recognize whether you are a teen smoker or whether you have smoked all your life. It is basically difficult to quit smoking ones you are an addict. So, improvements are needed to quit smoking which foundationally need some motivation. This motivation should come from the social aspect, and the persons well calculated moves. Through motivation therefore, it is possible to learn the new ways and finally quit and manage the vehement desires of smoking. (Greaves, 36) As a smoker, I have really found it hard to accept the fact that there are people who once smoked and are now free from this habit. I find it very wise to quit smoking but the initiative has been an uphill to me. This is what prompted me to carry out some research on this habit.

This research relies on people’s experience which I do put in prose form.

Why it is hard to quit smoking.

There are several reasons which I found that have kept me smoking. One, smoking comes out to be a physical addiction and psychological habit. Smoking is like a daily ritual which needs to be repeated on daily basis. In addition to this we find that the content of cigarette, nicotine, does provide temporary and addictive state. So if one is to refrain from smoking, then there must be some physical signs that automatically will call for only the determined to stand against and move on. Basically when one has to quit smoking he has to quit both the addiction and the habit. Only through this will one count himself to be out of the addiction of nicotine. (Hilton, 13) Secondly, it is not easy to quit smoking especially for people who were used to it in managing overwhelming and unpleasant feelings such as anxiety, stress, and loneliness. Basically, smoking act as the only companion when one is lonely or is stressed. You find that the comfort that people seem to find through smoking is not an easy thing to abandon and start doing something else. But because one will pretend that he is quitting smoking, he or she will continue smoking and may continue till the end of his or her life. This is because it is not easy due to its addictive nature. The comfort that cigarettes do provide is also addictive. In addition to the addiction, there are some side benefits that do come with smoking thus making it very difficult to quit. These side benefits can include the stimulation that smokers do get when the smoke, the pleasure, the relaxation that these smokers get is very overwhelming that stopping smoking is not easy. These are some of the reasons why I find it not easy to stop smoking. Though it is difficult to stop smoking, I have come to understand that people have been able to stop smoking. They have graduated from that class and have joined the class of non smokers. On inquiring, I came out with some possible solutions to why they managed to quit smoking. The foremost step is that one has to take the initiate to stop smoking. He or she should come out with an effective plan to help him or she quit the craving desire for cigarettes, to manage his or her unpleasant and overwhelming feelings. On top of these, one needs support from the social aspect of life. Those who are close to this smoker do play a very big role in ensuring that they either continue smoking or quit. Through the support of people like the family, the peers and friends from whichever dimension, quitting smoking will not be difficult to undertake.

Personally, I have found it very difficult to stop smoking but now I know that people can work their ways out of the habit. I just want to try my best to quit this habit just like my friends have done it. I want to acknowledge the role that psychology play in such calls for actions. The role that the mind plays stands out to be very significant and this proves that the major step in quitting smoking is having a determined mind to quit smoking. The experience I have had while smoking is pathetic and it is my wish you don’t fall into this trap that I fell in. kindly don not smoke.

Works cited:

Hilton, M. The Smoking Culture: Perfect Pleasures. Manchester University Press, 2000 Gilman, S. L. . Smoke: History of Smoking. Reaktion Books, 2003 Greaves, L. Reflections on Addiction and Modernity State University of New York Press, 2002 Robicsek, F. The Smoking Gods . Eve publishers. Michigan, 1978 West, R. and Shiffman, S. Fast Facts: Smoking Cessation. Health Press Ltd, 2007.


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Importance of Quitting Smoking Essay

Smoking is a practice which involves the burning of a substance, for instance tobacco or cannabis, and later the smoke that emanates from it is inhaled. When referring to smoking, many people refer to tobacco smoking or cigarette smoking. The most widely used substance for smoking is tobacco, which is manufactured as cigarettes or hand-rolled tobacco. Smoking is an addictive habit and most smokers would attest that they wish they were able to stop the habit.

As much as it may seem to be a comfortable habit, smoking is in its actual sense not pleasurable and in any case it does not bring any relief. It is therefore the desire of many smokers to quit smoking. The knowledge that smoking can lead to serious health problems is one that is conscious in every smoker. This may make the smoker stay worried yet overcoming the addiction is a problem.

As such, quitting smoking is important since it helps relief the worry and the fear associated with possibility of developing cancer among other smoking-related illnesses. The smell that comes with smoking is very embarrassing and most people hate it.

Quitting smoking is therefore an important way of regaining self confidence by doing away with the embarrassing smell of cigarette smoke. Quitting smoking is an important way of shedding off the worry of the constant coughs and short breath brought about by smoking (Quit Smoking Review para 2-3).

Quitting smoking comes with a myriad of benefits which place more weight on the importance of quitting this addictive habit. If one quits smoking, it is no doubt that someone else is also saved from the problem of chain smoking. It is important that smokers reconsider their actions and identify that they spread the negative effects of smoking to persons who would not like to smoke.

It is therefore important to quit smoking if the problems associated with chain smoking are to be solved. The unborn are also beneficiaries of quitting smoking, especially among pregnant mothers. The elimination of very dangerous chemicals from the body motivates many people to avoid the practice. Most smokers thus find the health benefits as an encouraging gesture to quit smoking.

Quitting smoking is important since it leads to saving of monies that would have been used to buy cigarettes. These daily savings resulting from quitting smoking can be put into wiser and productive ways such as helping the family to settle bills as well as saving the money for investing. The fact that every individual’s lifestyle seems to influence another person’s life is an important reason why it is advisable to quit smoking. For instance, parents can act as good role models to their children by choosing to quit smoking.

In such a case, children are able to appreciate that smoking is a harmful habit and they will view the parent as a proactive parent as far as achieving good health is concerned. Additionally, quitting smoking gives the individual whiter and good looking teeth coupled with a fresh breath (Quit Smoking Review para 4-5). Most smokers are prone to gum diseases among other mouth diseases in comparison to non-smokers.

The individual’s health is also greatly improved as the breathing system that was once clogged with tobacco particles becomes clear and the lung capacity improves generally by about 10% (Gilman & Xun 45). Young smokers may not experience the negative effects of smoking until their later years but lung capacity generally weakens and diminishes with age.

Further, quitting smoking increases the individual’s life span, as Gilman and Xun (51) notes that half of all long-term smokers die from smoking related diseases such as heart attacks, lung cancer and others such as chronic bronchitis.

Those who quit smoking at age 30 are at an advantage as they add almost 10 years of their life span. As earlier mentioned stress levels are lower after one quits smoking since one has overcome the annoying habit. Most smokers suffer from withdrawal effects especially from nicotine, and the pleasant feeling of satisfying a craving is very temporary. Thus, non-smokers can concentrate better than smokers.

The body senses are also improved to a great extent as the system gets rid of many toxic chemicals found in the body as a result of cigarette smoke. Additionally, the individual experiences more energy as two weeks after quitting smoking, the circulation improves making many physical activities much easier. Additionally, the immune system is improved as mild diseases such as flu, colds and headaches can be easily fought.

In general, quitting smoking is an important step towards realizing an overall improvement in quality of life. Quitting smoking is also an important measure of ensuring cleanliness in one’s environment (American Academy of Family Physicians para 6).

Once one has quit smoking, the cigarette butts and ashes that are common in houses or cars of the smoker are no longer seen. This leads to greater happiness to the individual as well as those who live with the smoker. In addition, there is no need to worry much over the possible fire outbreaks brought about by careless disposal of burning cigarette butts.

Works Cited

American Academy of Family Physicians. Do I want to quit smoking ? 2000. Web.

Gilman, Sander and Xun, Zhou. Smoke: A global history of smoking . London, UK: Reaktion Books. 2004. Print.

Quit Smoking Review. The importance of quitting smoking . Web.

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IvyPanda. (2020, April 27). Importance of Quitting Smoking.

"Importance of Quitting Smoking." IvyPanda , 27 Apr. 2020,

IvyPanda . (2020) 'Importance of Quitting Smoking'. 27 April.

IvyPanda . 2020. "Importance of Quitting Smoking." April 27, 2020.

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essay ways to stop smoking

8 Strategies to Use if You Want to Quit Smoking in 2024

E very year, we write our lists of things we want to accomplish to become a better version of ourselves in the new year. For many people, quitting smoking is at the top of the list. Unfortunately, not everyone is successful because they haven't adequately prepared to quit. 

Making a plan that works for you is essential. Whether you want to know how to quit smoking cold turkey or how to stop smoking with a more gradual method, we're here to help. With these practical tips, you can start 2024 on the right foot and achieve your goals.

For more health tips, check out this supplement that will help you sleep and five tips to cope with sleep anxiety .

How to make a plan to quit smoking that works for you

Setting up a plan is a great way to start the process of giving up nicotine. That plan begins with examining your habits and considering what will work best for you.

Examine your current smoking habits 

Once you've decided you want to stop smoking, it's a good practice to come up with a plan you will follow through with. That starts with looking at your smoking habits and figuring out how to change them

  • Become aware of how much you smoke: Before you cut back, it's important to understand how much you're smoking to begin with. It might be more than you think. Count how many cigarettes you're smoking each day and write it down so you can look at that number. 
  • Identify the reasons you smoke: There are certainly reasons that you smoke or use tobacco and the next step in your journey is understanding them. There's a good possibility that it's a years-old habit that doesn't feel like it has its reasons anymore -- but think about why you started in the first place and why you turn to it throughout the day now. Every time you want to smoke, write down why you're doing it. 
  • Think about why you want to quit smoking: Having a reason in place will help you stick to your guns when it comes to giving up tobacco. Whether it's for your health, the sake of your children or another reason, figure out why you really want to quit smoking -- beyond just quitting for the sake of quitting. While that is a great way to start, having something you can visualize in the tough parts of this journey can help you push through when you feel like giving up.

Learn how smoking affects your body

Smoking and general tobacco use can have a very negative effect on your body. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , "smoking can cause cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Smoking also increases risk for tuberculosis, certain eye diseases and problems of the immune system, including rheumatoid arthritis." All of these physical concerns can also lead to issues with your mental health with the added stress of a medical condition.

Studies have also proven that smoking at night may be a direct cause of insomnia , and poor sleep health can lead to other health issues like obesity and heart problems. The CDC also points out how harmful secondhand smoke is, especially around children: Secondhand smoke causes around 400 infant deaths each year.

Set a goal 

Goals can help keep you motivated, but beyond one big goal of "quit smoking," set smaller goals that you can achieve along the way. Maybe you start with giving up smoking one day at a time. For a month, commit to not smoking on weekends. When you make it through the month, treat yourself and move on to the next goal. This feels more manageable than quitting cold turkey (although that method certainly works for some people). 

Try nicotine replacement therapy 

Nicotine replacement therapy -- like a nicotine patch or gum -- can help curb cravings for nicotine. These low doses of nicotine have been proven in numerous studies as a positive resource in giving up smoking. If you're considering nicotine replacement therapy, it's not a bad idea to speak to your healthcare provider to decide which product may work best for you.

Consider prescription pills 

You can also speak to your doctor about a prescription medication to help you quit smoking. Chantix and Zyban are two popular prescription medications for smoking cessation that you can discuss with your doctor. Pfizer shared research on the effectiveness of Chantix , with various studies demonstrating upwards of 40% of participants successfully abstaining from smoking while using the drug. 

Create a support system 

Surrounding yourself with people to lean on while you're going through what will certainly be a difficult time can help you not only be successful but also stay motivated. When you're feeling like you want to give up, these people can help you keep going.

  • Let your friends and family know your goals: Share your goals with your trusted circle who will support you -- but leave out anyone who won't. Let them know what your goals are and let them know how they can help you. If you want them to not smoke around you, mention it. If you want them to cheer you on, tell them that. If you want them to be a silent supporter, express just that. 
  • Create your community: It's also important to find people who are either currently going through the same journey as you or have at some point because they'll understand you better than anyone. Online communities and in-person communities like Nicotine Anonymous and Smokers Anonymous can be helpful.
  • Seek professional help: You can also turn to your doctor or therapist for guidance and support while you give up smoking. They can provide you with further resources or medically backed reasons for quitting. They can also help you see the positive effects your physical and mental health are going through as you smoke less and less, which can help keep you motivated.

Plan for the side effects 

Most people who give up smoking experience withdrawal symptoms. When weaning yourself off tobacco, the CDC says you can expect to feel irritable, restless, hungry, depressed, and sad. You may also have trouble sleeping and see some weight gain. All of these are common but speak to your doctor about anything that doesn't feel right to you. 

The CDC also recommends exercise to deal with restless, anxious feelings. Exercise will raise your heart rate and get your endorphins going, which can improve your mood. Plus, it's a way to channel those negative side effects into something positive. 

Celebrate your wins 

While it's great to celebrate reaching your big goal, it's just as important to celebrate smaller goals along the way. The first day you fully go without smoking, treat yourself. Once you hit a week, treat yourself again. Buy yourself a nice meal out or go get ice cream. Go have a spa day or buy yourself some shoes you've been eyeing. When you start, set up a bank of rewards you'll give yourself so you know exactly what you're working toward.

Kickstart the new year by quitting your smoking habit. 

Your bad habits could be costing you £13k a year, here’s how to cut back

Which extravagant luxuries could you buy if you quit smoking, drinking, or that takeaway habit? Here’s how it all adds up

How much can you save

Around 60 per cent of smokers in the UK attempt to quit every year, with 10 per cent of those aiming to do so within three months. NHS studies suggest the most effective means of giving up are nicotine replacement patches, GP-prescribed medication or the use of local stop-smoking services. But according to new research by University College London, sheer expense is proving to be one of the most powerful deterrents of all. The average price of 20 cigarettes in the UK is £15.66 (up from £8.29 in 2014). 

Amid a cost of living crisis , cigarettes have become less of an affordable daily “treat” and more akin to a luxury product. And it’s not just smoking: the price of being unhealthy in 2024 is spiralling in numerous ways. When you stack up the costs, the amount we could all save by quitting a few bad habits is quite remarkable. So even if your doctor can’t convince you to live healthier, perhaps your bank balance will. Here is a breakdown on what the average Briton is spending on unhealthy habits – and what we could be treating ourselves to instead.

Stub out that 20-a-day habit and save £250 per month

What are the risks.

Smoking can harm every organ in the body, says Hazel Cheeseman, the deputy chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health. “As well as various cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, heart disease and diabetes, smoking can damage your eyesight, your hearing, women’s reproductive health and has even been shown to cause depression and schizophrenia,” she says. “There was a period between the Sixties and early Noughties where smoking was becoming more affordable. What we are seeing now is that reduced affordability is one of the most effective levers to change behaviour.” 

How much does it cost?

The average UK smoker spends £3,000 per year on tobacco products. That works out at £250 for 320 cigarettes per month. Smoking the same number of roll-your-own cigarettes would cost roughly £114. 

Jump on the wagon and save £62 per month

What are the risks.

Alcohol misuse is the biggest risk factor for death, ill health and disability among 15- to 49-year-olds in the UK, and the fifth-biggest risk factor across all ages. Alcohol is also associated with more than 60 medical conditions, including mouth, throat, stomach, liver and breast cancers, high blood pressure , cirrhosis of the liver and depression. “Slowly, people are understanding the dangers of drinking in a way we didn’t 10 years ago,” says Dr Richard Piper, the chief executive of the charity Alcohol Change UK. “It used to be considered relatively harmless unless you were addicted. But alcohol is now associated with 40 per cent of all strokes and is the third-biggest cause of breast cancer. It is a Type 1 carcinogen [cause of cancer]. More people drink alcohol than smoke but it is associated with even more illnesses than tobacco.”

A new survey, commissioned by Alcohol Change UK, shows the average drinker in the UK spends around £62,899 on alcohol over the course of a lifetime (33 per cent of the average mortgage).

The average UK household spends £744 on alcohol each year based on an average household size of 2.3 people. This works out at £62 per month.

Resist that afternoon snack attack and save £169 per year

“People associate liver disease with alcohol,” says Malcolm Clarke from Cancer Research UK. “But obesity is an even bigger cause of liver cancer than drinking.” High sugar consumption can also lead to heart disease, increased blood pressure and inflammatory disease, among numerous other ailments. Meanwhile 4.3 million people in the UK are living with diabetes according to the charity Diabetes UK. 

The average British household consumed 97 bars of chocolate and spent around £95 on chocolate bars a year, in 2021/2022. When that post-lunch afternoon crash hits you, a daily Kit Kat can sometimes feel like the only thing that will stop you falling asleep at your desk – but across a year, all of those chocolate fingers will add up to £169.

Take away the takeaways and save £146.50 per month

Carrying the extra pounds of fat linked to eating junk food can lead to numerous serious illnesses, including cardiovascular disease (mainly heart disease and stroke), Type 2 diabetes , musculoskeletal disorders such as osteoarthritis and numerous cancers (including endometrial, breast and colon). “The food and drink industry spend millions of pounds in promoting products that are high in fat, salt and sugar that are linked to a huge range of cancers,” says Malcolm Clark, a senior prevention policy officer at Cancer Research UK. “We could avoid thousands of cases of cancer over the next 10 years if rates of obesity dropped by just 10 per cent.”

“Out-of-home” meals have approximately 21 per cent more calories than meals cooked at home. The most popular takeaway food in the UK is pizza, with the average 8-10in version containing 868 calories (around 40 per cent of female and 30 per cent of male recommended healthy daily allowance).

Britons are spending an average of £1,758 on takeaways each year (£146.50 per month). “It should be easy for everyone to eat healthily, especially children. It isn’t,” says Katharine Jenner of the Obesity Health Alliance. “Our world is flooded with cheap, convenient, highly appealing food that has the downside of being high in calories and lacking in nutrients.” 


How to identify ultra-processed foods – and the surprising ones hiding in your cupboard

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