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    Jefferson County Public Health Tobacco Prevention Program


    Monday - Friday
    8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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    JCPH Tobacco Prevention Initiative Supervisor

    Donna Viverette

  • Five Days Before Quit Date


    Action Step

    Begin gathering your support resources. Identify people you’d like to have as support for quitting - let them know you are preparing for the Great American Smoke Out and ask them to help in specific ways.

    • Sharing your intentions to go smoke-free or make other changes may help you stick with your commitment. It may also help you find support from others when you need it most.
    • Consider the specific kinds of support you might need and ask certain people to help you. For example, if you know you smoke less when you’re with others, you may want to ask a certain friend to spend extra time with you during challenging times. You may want to vent or share your feelings about quitting and need someone who will listen and not attempt to advise you or fix the situation. Thinking ahead about the kind of support you may want can help immensely.
    • Another supportive activity is to create an “Island of Tranquility” for yourself.
      • For some, smoking is relaxing. It takes you away from the throes of a stressful circumstance, it gives you time to think, time to breathe (even if you’re breathing in smoke), and something to do that can be a calming ritual - a little island of tranquility.
      • Find a peaceful image in your mind and practice going there throughout the day. For help with this, see the Resources section below.


    Resources for Quitting

    The power of our thoughts and self-talk cannot be overestimated when it comes to making a personal change. Some smokers who quit successfully have suggested using prayer or meditation as mindful practices that can help through challenging times.

    There are many great stress management books and websites, and we suggest doing a search if you're interested. One site we found on the subject of mental imagery helps explain the value of this tool:


    Gaining Insight

    Should I or shouldn’t I - how do you deal with mixed feelings about quitting? During the change process, we may go through periods of ambivalence - part of us wants to change and part of us wants to keep doing what we’re doing. Resolving some of the uncertainty may be key to moving forward with plans. The following activity may help with this:

    Using the groupings below, write your thoughts for each area. Once you’ve completed everything, follow the instructions below to walk through options for resolving your ambivalence. If you are working on something other than quitting, just change the words to fit your situation.

    A – Benefits of Smoking; Reasons to Continue Smoking

    B – Benefits of Quitting; Reasons to Quit Smoking

    C – Negatives of Smoking; Reasons to Quit Smoking

    D – Negatives of Quitting; Reasons to Continue Smoking

    Group A: the “benefits” in this box are the primary reasons you continue to smoke and can fall into a couple of categories:

    • things you really need in your life, and
    • things you really like, but can give up or find a replacement for.


    Circle all the items in this list that you believe are important for you to have. Next to the item, note any other source for this benefit.

    • For example, if you wrote “helps me manage stress” as a benefit and you’ve circled it, you could write, “catching myself in the process of getting stressed out and taking a break sooner,” or “do some deep breathing and peaceful mental imagery.”


    For the remainder of the items, ask yourself if you can give this benefit up or replace it with something.

    • For example, if you wrote “enjoy a cigarette with morning coffee,” you might work on drinking coffee without smoking - or try drinking a different beverage that has a weaker link to lighting up.


    Group B: the importance of the items in this group is they can serve as your motivators to keep working on quitting. The more potent they are, the better.

    • For example, you could write, “save money,” but it may be more powerful to figure out just how much you’ll save and what you’ll do with your money: “will save $720 in six months - enough to pay for a great get-away weekend.”


    Group C: like the items in B, this group can help keep you moving in the right direction. When you have a thought that a cigarette might be nice, or you have a slip up, look at what you’ve written here to boost your resolve to get back on track.

    Group D: the items in this group are barriers to quitting and need to be addressed. Similar to the items in A, these items can fall into a couple of categories:

    • things you may have a tough time getting through without a resource to deal with;
    • things you can get through with little patience, willingness, etc.


    The important thing is to list all the barriers you know are concerns for you.

    • For example, if you wrote, “not being effective at work while having withdrawals,” you may want to plan now for things to do to combat this barrier.
      • You could consider using an over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy.
      • You might also consider doing something different at work during the first week of being smoke-free.
      • Plan on work activities that don’t set you up for frustration - maybe even consider taking a few days off.


    Keep filling in the different areas as you make new discoveries! 

    Last Updated: 4-24-2013