Step 2: Do the Prep Work
You’re about to make a big change, one that requires planning. Give yourself a month, 31 days, to do all the prep work.

Promise yourself: Make a personal pact with yourself to quit.
Set a quit date
: Make it at least one month from today.
Think of the three biggest reasons why you’re quitting
: Write them on a card you’ll carry with you and look at several times a day.
Be assertive
: Eliminate smoking in two or three situations that usually prompt you to smoke.
Cut back
: Reduce the number of cigs you smoke to a pack a day, or less.
Go cheap:
Switch to a less desirable brand of cigs.
Need a light
: Discard your matches and lighter.
Misplace your cigs
: Carry them in a different place than usual.
: Spend a little time each day imagining yourself in a stressful situation where you’re not smoking.
Take the Breathe-Free Pledge
: See below.

As of _______________, my official quit date, I pledge to commit to breathing free! My reasons for quitting smoking: ___________________________________________________________________________________________. I have found a friend I’ll call daily: ____________________________________. I recognize this may be one of the greatest challenges of my life, but I also know that breathing free is the best decision I can make to protect and improve my health. Upon signing this contract, I make a commitment to myself to breathe free and free myself from the limitations place on me by my addiction.

I don’t know what will happen or how difficult it will be, but I can get help from ______________________________________________, and I have decided to tell my friend about my decision to choose one of the following:

  1. Walk for 30 days and then add nicotine patches (21 or 22 mg if I smoke a pack a day or so) and bupropion (100 mg twice a day—a reduced dose of Zyban)
  2. Walk for 30 days and then use nicotine patches (or nicotine gum or nicotine oral inhaler) alone
  3. Walk for 30 days and then use varenicline (Chantix) alone

I also know that staying smoke free (not having “just one”) after the initial breathe-free period is important, and I have asked my family and friends to support me and not smoke around me. I’ll also continue to talk daily to my friend for at least six months, and then I’ll become a buddy to others.

By committing to a life of breathing free, I’ll ensure a healthier future, and I will protect the wellbeing of my loved ones and everyone around me, who will no longer be exposed to the dangers of secondhand smoke. I know that I’m not only motivated but also committed and willing to make the effort to become a nonsmoker.

I deserve to give myself the healthiest life possible and breathe free!

QUIZ: How Healthy Do You Feel?