A chart listing the different choices you have in preparing yourself for quitting. Taking preparation seriously is one of the key factors in successful smoking cessation.

Step #1: Preparing to Quit


Description & Examples Pros & Cons Comments
Group Programs
American Lung Association’s Freedom From Smoking® group program offers seven sessions to help you set and follow your Quit Smoking Action Plan.

Also offered by many hospitals, medical facilities and by voluntary agencies.Pros
Supportive, encouraging environment
Opportunity for building skills needed to quit smoking
Meeting schedule may not be flexible enough for some
A group may not be available when you need it

Comments/limitations: Best for those who work well with others. The groups focus on helping you change your smoking behaviors.

May also be helpful for those whose family or friends are unlikely to provide support. Usually meets for four to seven sessions with each session lasting one to two hours.

Individual Counseling From Healthcare Provider
Many healthcare providers offer indi- vidual quit-smoking programs that help you develop a Quit Smoking Action Plan. They should also provide encourage- ment for staying smoke-free and plans for coping with relapse.Pros:
Personalized to your needs
Opportunity for building skills needed to quit smoking
No opportunity for peer support sharing
Usually requires an appointmentComments/limitations: This may be best if you have a good relationship with your healthcare provider. Best for people who prefer to work independently rather than in group settings. The more counseling sessions you attend, the better your chances of staying smoke-free.Books, Manuals, Audiotapes, Videotapes, and Internet Resources
ALA’s 7 Steps to a Smoke-Free Life is one of many excellent sources available.

These should be educational, informative and discuss the key parts of a Quit Smoking Action Plan. May be a starting point for additional help.Pros:
May be especially appropriate for those who like to work on their own or enjoy "do-it-yourself" projects
Success depends on continued use
Many are superficial and do not provide needed key elements

Comments/limitations:Although you may prefer to quit on your own, quitting without preparing an action plan is unlikely to be successful.

The American Lung Association provides a variety of materials and programs, including special programs for pregnant women, African-American smokers and other populations.

Telephone Counseling
Many health providers and worksites offer telephone counseling to provide assistance in developing and following through with your Quit Smoking Action Plan. (Additionally, telephone counseling to provide encouragement for staying smoke-free is described later in this guide.)

Many states have smokers’ help lines. For more information, call:

American Lung Association
1-(800) LUNG-USAPros:
Personal and private
Useful in rural areas or anywhere access to counseling services is limited
Phone counselor may change from contact to contact
Lack of fixed schedule may be discouraging to someComments/limitations:Telephone counseling services are also sometimes used to help you stay smoke-free. Ask your healthcare provider or check your phone book for availability of these services in your are

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