quit smoking notes

Quitting 101

Want to quit smoking?

Set a quit day. Your quit date will be one of the most important dates of your life. Capitalize on a memorable day like your birthday, an anniversary date with your partner, your favourite holiday, or a pop-culture event to quit

Prepare to handle withdrawal, to control cravings and to resist temptations to smoke


Choose your way to quit

What to expect when quitting

Within a few days, you may notice that it’s easier to breathe and your sense of taste improves! Your risk of heart disease and cancer will start to decrease significantly.

Withdrawal symptoms and cravings can be strong and unpleasant, especially during the first few days. Hang in there! These are only temporary and will pass with time.

Nicotine suppresses your appetite. Without nicotine, hunger pangs may be stronger.

Your metabolism may slow down a little; exercise and a sensible diet will help keep any unwanted weight off.

Tips for success

Drink water – lots of it! Have healthy snacks available when hunger pangs strike.

Change your routines and keep busy

Plan how to deal with places and people that may trigger you to smoke

Count on friends and family – announcing plans to quit is a proven strategy for successful quitting

List and post your reasons for quitting – then read & re-read these!

You might not quit the first time you try, so keep trying! Figure out what made you slip up, and how to deal with it next time. Speaking to a health care professional (e.g., doctor, nurse, pharmacist) or Smokers’ Helpline can increase your chance of quitting successfully.

Quitting smoking is hard, we get that, but finding help shouldn’t be. We’ve got you covered.

Find an option below that’s right for you.

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Nicotine Replacement Therapy

Nicotine replacement products (patch, gum, lozenge, inhaler, spray) are all available without a prescription at grocery stores and drug stores. Use them to wean yourself off nicotine and to help fight cravings fast. For nicotine replacement products to work, you MUST follow the instructions exactly. Take the right dose for the right length of time. Eligible young adults can receive 8 weeks of free nicotine patches or gum mailed directly to their door.
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Stop Smoking Medications

Using Champix or Zyban can increase your chance of success by 2-3x! 1

These non-nicotine medications work with chemicals in your brain to reduce nicotine cravings, ease withdrawal, and generally make smoking less pleasurable.

Talk to your doctor to find out if these medications may be right for you, and make sure you follow your doctor’s advice carefully.

1. Cahill, K., Stevens, S., Perera, R., Lancaster, T. (2013). Pharmacological interventions for smoking cessation: an overview and network meta-analysis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 5, Art. No.: CD009329. Abstract available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD009329.pub2/abstract.

quitting resources

Talk to a Health Professional

…it can double or even triple your chances of successfully quitting!

Talk to a nurse, doctor, pharmacist, or quit specialist on your campus or in your community about your quit plan. Talk about what happened the last time you tried to quit; what you plan to do this time; whether prescription medications like Zyban or Champix might help and; what other resources are available to you.

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Smokers' Helpline

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Smokers’ Helpline has lots of ways to help you quit. Get free, non-judgmental, personalized support. Call, text or go online to talk to a Quit Specialist to get the support you want, whenever you want it.

New! You can register to receive text support by texting "iQuit" to 123456.

Learn More
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With a Friend

Having the support of friends or family can help you quit.

  • Get a friend who smokes to quit with you.
  • Tell friends who smoke to not smoke around you.
  • Ask friends to keep you distracted & send you positive texts and funny videos.
quitting booklets

Quit Smoking Booklets

These mini-booklets are evidence-based. They work!


SMOKE is for smokers who don't want to quit right now. It has tips for dealing with people who nag you to quit & info about smoking that really matters to young adults in post-secondary school!



QUIT is for smokers who are thinking of quitting, or are ready to quit. It offers info about quitting, and strategies that help you deal with nicotine withdrawal & cravings, the stress of being a student, and everyday temptations!




U Know U Want 2… Help a friend quit. Give this book to a friend or family member to let them know how to best support you. It explains all the things you experience when quitting smoking, and tells your friend how they can help you get through any rough spots.


quitting WUR

The January contest

The wouldurathercontest open to all Ontario young adults who want to make positive changes to their health. For 6 weeks, the contest challenges you to do one of these things:

  • Quit smoking
  • Cut back on your smoking by 50%
  • Not smoke when you drink / party
  • Stay smoke-free if you don’t smoke now

Stay tuned! The contest returns this fall and so does your chance to win AWESOME prizes!

Learn More

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Smartphone Apps

FREE, easy-to-use smartphone apps that help you stop smoking.


Break It Off