What Works to Quit

Quitting is a difficult and unique process for everyone. Quitting the addiction often takes several tries. But there are a variety of ways you can improve your chances of quitting for good. 

5 Basic Start Steps 

You will be more successful if you plan ahead. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends these five steps:

Set a quit date
  • A date that gives you time to get ready.
  • Choose a special day like a birthday, anniversary or holiday.
Tell family, friends, and coworkers that you plan to quit
  • Tell people around you that you’re trying to quit.
  • Ask them to be understanding if you are moody.
  • Let them know how to support you.
Anticipate and plan for the challenges you’ll face 
  • The first three months will be hard.
  • Make a list of when you usually use tobacco and plan for how to deal with cravings.
  • Expect symptoms of withdrawal. It’s unpleasant but a sign your body is ridding itself of nicotine.
Remove all tobacco products from your home, car, and work
  • Clean your home, car, and work areas. 
  • Get rid of ashtrays and lighters.
Talk to your doctor or other service about getting help 
  • You have more options than “cold turkey.”

Counseling and Support

It can be helpful to have one or more individuals to act as a support network during the quitting process. This is provided for free via telephone by the Colorado QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT-NOW. You can also talk with your doctor or local clinic about in-person counseling and support options in your community.


Breaking a tobacco addiction often takes more than willpower. Sometimes medication can help your body break free from the chemicals it’s used to. 

The FDA  has approved these products to help people quit: 

  • Nicotine gum or lozenge
  • Nicotine patch
  • Nicotine nose spray or inhaler 
  • Bupropion or varenicline pills

these medications can double your chances of quitting successfully. 

Many of these medications are available at no cost for those who qualify and are enrolled in the Colorado QuitLine. Some of these medications are only available with a prescription. Talk with your doctor before using any product. 

Combination Methods 

The more tools you have to help you quit, the better. Combining coaching and support with medication provides the best chance of successfully becoming tobacco-free. A combination of counseling, support and medication is available at no cost through the Colorado QuitLine. 

Other Methods 

There is currently no evidence to suggest acupuncture, hypnosis, or laser therapy are effective in helping people quit tobacco. Similarly, internet quitting programs and self-help quitting guides may be effective but are strengthened if used with counseling, support and medication.