Line up help before your quit date
After you smoke that last cigarette, a relapse can occur very quickly. Within two days, half of all people light up again; by the end of the first week, two-thirds are back to smoking. Help at the right moment can be crucial, and it’s easy to get. Before your quit date, set up a visit with your doctor, a cognitive behavioural therapist or a smoking-cessation support group for your first smoke-free week. Or plan to call a telephone quitline. All of these resources can offer custom-tailored help to cope with specific challenges, such as what to do if you’ve always had a cigarette after dinner (schedule an activity for that time — mow the lawn or take an evening walk with a friend), or smoked when life threw a few challenges your way. In one U.S. study, 43 percent of people who used a telephone quitline were still smoke free after nine months compared to just 5 percent who didn’t.