How to Quit

Tobacco is one of the most difficult addictions to quit. Though it is difficult, thousands of Iowans quit every year. Having a plan, utilizing medications and participating in cessation counseling, you can double your chances of successfully quitting!

Below are a variety of tips to help quit tobacco. Remember, different methods work for different people, so it's important to find the right combination for you.

  • Set a firm quit date
  • Throw away all tobacco products, including ashtrays and lighters.
  • Stock up on low-calorie snacks and sugar-free gum and mints.
  • Think about what activities you will do when you have a strong urge to use tobacco products (call a friend, drink water, go for a walk).
  • Anticipate risky situations and what to do in those situations.
  • Practice deep breathing.
  • Consider Nicotine Replacement Therapy to start you on the right track, such as the patch, gum or lozenge. (Talk to your doctor before taking this step.)
  • Have a good support system set up. Ask family, friends and co-workers to support you and your goal.
  • Write down the reasons why you want to quit and be specific. Keep this list close; when you feel the urge to use tobacco products, read through the list to remember why you are taking this step.
  • Think positively! Cravings last 3-5 minutes. If you've made it tobacco-free for 5 minutes, you can make it another 5 minutes!

FREE services are available in Iowa for those interested in quitting tobacco:

Quitline Iowa


Quitline Iowa is a toll-free, statewide tobacco cessation telephone counseling hotline. Trained counselors provide assistance in making an individualized quit plan and provide ongoing support through optional follow-up calls.

American Lung Association Lung HelpLine


The American Lung Association's Lung HelpLine is staffed with certified nurses and respiratory therapists to answer all of your lung health questions.  The Lung HelpLine is also available for tobacco cessation services.