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Quitting Tobacco: Care Instructions

Quitting tobacco is much harder than simply changing a habit. Nicotine cravings make it hard to quit, but you can do it. Your doctor will help you set up the plan that best meets your needs.

You will miss the nicotine at first. You may feel short-tempered and grumpy. You may have trouble sleeping or thinking clearly. The urge to use tobacco may continue for a time.

Combining tools can raise your chances of success. You can use medicine along with counselling. And you can join a quit-tobacco program, such as QuitCore.

  • Get support. Reach out to family and friends, and find a counsellor to help you quit. Join a support group for people who are trying to quit using tobacco. Consider signing up for a tobacco cessation program or getting phone or text messaging support from AlbertaQuits. Learn more about where to get help in Alberta.

  • Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about medicines that can help you quit. Medicines can help with cravings and withdrawal symptoms. There are several over-the-counter choices, such as nicotine patches, gum, and lozenges.

  • After you quit, do not use tobacco again, not even once. Get rid of all tobacco products and anything that reminds you of tobacco, such as ashtrays.

  • Avoid things that make you reach for tobacco. Change your daily routine. Take a different route to work, or eat a meal in a different place.

  • Try to cut down on stress. Find ways to calm yourself, such as taking a hot bath or doing deep breathing exercises.

  • Eat a healthy diet, and get regular exercise. Having healthy habits may help you quit using tobacco.

  • Don't give up on quitting if you use tobacco again. Most people quit and restart a few times before they quit for good.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

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