Quitting Strategies

  • Quit Coaches

    Friendly, professional, quitting councilors are available to help out 24/7.

    Two ways to reach a Quit Coach:

    By phone: 1-877-455-2233 (toll free).

    By instant chat.

  • Quit Buddies

    Like most things in life, quitting is best done with good company.

    A quit buddy is anybody that you can count on to support you in your quit. Think of him as your right hand, go-to guy when you need a boost or just someone to talk to when you're feeling low.

    A quit buddy can be a friend, family member, or someone at work. Sometimes it's helpful if they have quit smoking themselves so they can draw on personal experience, but what really matters is that they've got your back.

  • Text message support

    Tips and support sent direct to your phone when you need them most.

    Sometimes all you need is a little reminder or a small push to keep going. That's what this service is all about.

    It's a free 3 month program that delivers motivational messages, customized around your chosen quit date.

    Text QUITNOW to 654321 and then follow the prompts to get going. 

    It's free to sign up and you can easily unsubscribe at anytime. 

  • Cutting down

    If you're not ready to pull the plug completely, try phasing out your smokes.

    Going from more than a pack a day down to zero overnight is not easy, and for some it just seems impossible. If you're not ready to quit completely, cutting down on how much you smoke is another way to quit that others have found effective. 

    To cut down on your smoking, you might want to:

    • Smoke just half of a cigarette each time you smoke.
    • Increase the time between each cigarette you smoke.
    • Delay your smoke. Don't cave as soon as you feel a craving. Instead wait out 15 minutes. Train your body that cravings do not automatically lead to nicotine. 
    • Change your routine. Smoke in different places, at different times, and with different people. The more you can disrupt your routine, the easier it will be to quit for good.
  • If you are capable of quitting smoking all at once, go for it. The sooner the better -- and there is certainly no harm in trying.

    The reality is that quitting "cold turkey" is not easy, and only a small percentage of smokers are successfully able to quit smoking unassisted -- this makes it the least effective of all quit methods.

    Cold turkey is especially difficult for long-term, heavy smokers with a strong dependence on nicotine. Cutting out tobacco all at once will likely trigger some difficult withdrawal symptoms, which could be minimized by trying quit smoking medication like the patch or nicotine gum. Plus it's free for BC residents.

    Note: BC Lung and Quit Now Services do not receive any funding from the manufacturers of quit smoking products and base this recommendation solely on research and experience.

  • E-cigarettes

    Are they safe? Are they effective? Here's what you need to know.

    Currently, we're very cautious about e-cigarettes. Clearly, anything that gets people to stop smoking is a good thing -- but we don't yet know if e-cigarettes do help people stop smoking in the long run. 

    We also don't know if there are any long-term health consequences of using these products. There just isn't enough known about them. 

    There are other quit aids, with or without nicotine, that have been proven to be safe and effective at helping people quit smoking. 

    Read The Lung Association's position on E-Cigarettes

  • Alternative Therapies

    What you need to know about laser therapy, hypnosis, acupuncture.

    For some people, these kinds of therapies have been very effective. And we have met many people who swear by them.

    These cases are entirely anecdotal though -- as none of these therapies have proven effective in scientific studies. Overall, they perform as well as a placebo. 

    There is however no harm in trying these therapies, except for the cost. We do however recommend that you first consider one or more of the proven approaches in this list.