quit smoking highlighted in list of new years resolutionsIt is no secret that most New Year’s resolutions tend to fail before they even have a chance to “get off the ground”. However, something about the “clean slate” that a new year brings inspires every one of us to try anyway.  We think about all the positive changes we want to make in our lives, get off to a great start, but get sidetracked by the busy-ness and pressures of life and lose focus. Despite our failures, we vow to ourselves that we will “do better next year”. The failure that many of us experience is often the result of failing to make a sustainable plan. Benjamin Franklin said it best when he said: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

If you’re planning to start off this new year tobacco-free, set yourself up for success by creating a plan, learning what it takes to quit and knowing what to expect from the process.3

When it comes to quitting and staying quit, you must have a plan.1 Having a personalized plan will not only keep you on track, but it will also help get you through the challenging moments that will inevitably come your way.  Here are six simple steps to create your quit plan that will set you up for success4:

Step One: Mark your calendar.

With New Year’s coming up, now is a perfect time to quit tobacco for good. Start 2021 off on the right foot by cutting out the #1 preventable cause of death and disease in the United States: tobacco use.1 Set your quit date, but also tell your friends and family your plans to quit and explain how they can help you.  Quitting tobacco is easier when people in your life support you.4

Step Two: Calculate your savings.

Did you know a pack-a-day smoker can save over $2,200 a year from quitting?4 Cutting out tobacco use is an excellent way to build your savings back up now that the holidays are behind you.

Step Three: Think about your reasons for quitting.

Whether your main reason for quitting is related to health, money, family, job, or social stigma, you are making the right decision for your health and the health of those around you by quitting tobacco use. Knowing your reasons for why you want to quit can keep you motivated and on track, especially in the difficult moments.4

Step Four: Know your triggers.

Think about what things make you more likely to use tobacco, then develop strategies to keep you in control of those triggers.

Step Five: Fight your cravings.

When you get an urge to use tobacco, changing what you are doing or your physical location can make it easier to get your mind off of tobacco until the craving passes.

Step Six: Set yourself up for success.

Choose strategies and tools to help you quit. Gulfcoast South Area Health Education Center (GSAHEC), as part of the Tobacco Free Florida AHEC Cessation Program — offers free tobacco cessation classes that are available to help someone quit all forms of tobacco.  These group cessation classes, now held virtually, provide information about the effects of tobacco use, the benefits of quitting, and will assist you with developing your own customized quit plan. Free nicotine replacement therapy in the form of patches, gum or lozenges (if medically appropriate and while supplies last) are provided with the class. Attendees will also receive a participant workbook, quit kit materials, and follow up support from a trained tobacco treatment specialist. Contact us today at 866-534-7909 or visit our page to schedule a class or learn more about the program!


1 Tools to Quit: Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Cessation Program Participant Toolkit. Area Health Education Centers. 2018.

2 https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/10-reasons-why-new-years-resolutions-fail.html

3 https://www.verywellmind.com/tips-to-quit-smoking-for-new-years-2824378

4 https://smokefree.gov/build-your-quit-plan