Getting Ready to Quit
THINKING ABOUT QUITTING? WE ARE HERE TO HELP!
Not sure if you are ready to quit? Learn more about smoking, browse through the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), and see what next steps to take if you are ready to stop smoking today.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you do smoke, quitting as soon as possible can prevent or reverse health problems. Without smoking, you can:
- Live longer.
- Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Reduce your risk of developing a variety of other conditions.
- Feel healthier and have more energy.
- Look and feel better.
- Improve your sense of taste and smell.
The Quitline can help you quit by working with you on tobacco addiction (psychological, behavioral, and physical).
Trained coaches available 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week will work one-on-one with you to help you overcome cravings, identify barriers to quitting, and create a quit plan. You can also get printed and web-based self-help materials and text messaging support. The Quitline may also refer you to local resources like your local health department for in-person cessation classes or counseling.
The Quitline will offer a free supply of nicotine patches, gum, and/or lozenges while supplies last.
Tobacco users who use Quitline services are 60% more likely to successfully quit compared to those who attempt to quit without help. The United States Community Preventative Services Taskforce recommends Quitline interventions based on 71 study trials of telephone counseling that show their effectiveness. An evaluation of 2019- 20 Maryland State Quitline services estimated that nearly 35 percent of participants had quit tobacco within seven months of registering for services.
Yes. In addition to English, there is a dedicated Spanish line answered by Spanish speakers. The phone number for the Spanish line is: 1-855-DÉJELO-YA or 1-855-335-3569. Translation is available in over 240 languages and dialects; the Quitline connects participants to the interpretive service.
In addition, the Quitline offers a dedicated line for deaf or hard of hearing Marylanders: TTY # 1-877-777-6434.
You will be asked:
- Name, age, gender, and where you live
- Information about your tobacco use
- Health conditions you may have, and if you are pregnant
- Information about your health insurance (if you have it)
- Your contact information
- The best time(s) to call you
- Your shipping address for materials and/or medication (if applicable)
- If you would like to get text message support
You will also be asked:
- Optional demographic questions like ethnicity, race, and sexual orientation
- If it is okay for the Quitline to contact you in the future to ask questions about your experience. Any information you share will help the Quitline improve services.
No. Pregnant women who are interested in using Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) should discuss this decision with a medical professional.
No. Per federal law, the Quitline is unable to dose and ship NRT to youth; the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved NRT for youth under 18 years of age.
Remember that the urge to smoke will pass within a few minutes. Leave the surroundings that make you want to smoke. For example, take a walk around the block or take some deep breaths. It is alright to stay away from friends and family until your cravings begin to subside.
Stay motivated and find your reason to quit. It may be to protect your family from secondhand smoke or to lower your chance of getting cancer, heart disease, or some other serious health condition. Find a reason that is strong enough to outweigh the urge to light up. Do not think about previous failed attempts – treat them as steps on the road to success. Learn from what worked and what did not work and apply these the next time you try to quit.
Know you aren’t alone on this journey. The majority of current smokers in Maryland report a desire to quit, with over 60% having stopped smoking for one day or longer because they were trying to quit. It typically takes an average of 8 to 11 quit attempts to permanently quit smoking, so don’t give up. For free support, enroll in the Maryland Tobacco Quitline and talk with a coach about making this the quit that sticks.
Using nicotine replacement products (such as nicotine gum and nicotine patches) or FDA-approved, non-nicotine cessation medications can help reduce withdrawal symptoms and increase the likelihood that you will quit. Ask your doctor about what option is best for you.
Plan new ways to occupy your time. You can exercise to blow off steam, listen to your favorite music, connect with friends, treat yourself to a massage, or make time for a hobby. Try to avoid stressful situations during the first few weeks after you stop smoking.
When you’re ready to quit, there are several resources to assist you, including the Maryland Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW), tobacco treatment programs offered by your local health department, counseling from a health professional or insurance program, and/or Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved smoking tobacco treatment aids (non-nicotine prescription medication, such as bupropion, and/or nicotine replacement therapy, e.g., patch, lozenge, or gum).
Ways to Quit Today
The Maryland Tobacco Quitline
Here is the Process – Clear and Simple
Call 1 – Set your quit date.
When you call, the first person that you will talk to will take your contact information and collect some information about your smoking history. They will then pass you along to one of our certified coaches. Together you will decide when to quit and what techniques are right for you. The coach will help you decide whether treatments like the nicotine patch or gum are right for you.
Not only are coaches trained to give you the best advice possible, they are often ex-smokers themselves and can relate to your situation.
Call 2 – On your quit date.
Now that you have quit, the coach will give you the support you need and help you create a plan to stay tobacco free. This plan will include strategies for how you’ll get through the strong cravings and learn to get through your days without smoking.
Call 3 – Follow up on progress.
The coach will call you when it’s convenient for you to see how you are doing. The coach can give you other tips and techniques if you need them. If you started smoking again, the coach can help you get back on track.
Call 4 – Final check-in.
On your final call, your coach will check in with you to provide encouragement to stay tobacco free and help you set up a long-term plan to stay smoke-free.
Other Cessation Resources
This is Quitting
This is Quitting is a digital-based program to help young people quit vaping. Young people between the ages of 13-24 who are interested in quitting vaping can text “Ready” to 88709 for free support, tips, and resources to quit. This is Quitting is a free and anonymous text messaging program from Truth Initiative designed to help young people quit vaping.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) created Smokefree.gov to help you or someone you care about quit smoking. Smokefree.gov has the information and resources to fit your needs—no matter your reason or the type of help you’re looking for. You’ll find quizzes, tips, plans, apps, text messaging programs, and other ways to get ready to quit and be smoke free for good.