How Do You Know When to Quit Smoking?

You have heard all the reasons why you should quit smoking. You’ve even taken some steps by trying smoking alternatives. Still unsure if you’re really ready to quit tobacco use and smoking for good? Here are some ways to decide if you are ready to truly kick the habit.

  1. Has your smoking habit started to control your life? Do you worry about running out of cigarettes? Do you make sure before you go to sleep that you have cigarettes for the morning?
  2. Have friends or family told you that you or your clothing smell?
  3. Are you self-conscious about the smell of your breath, clothes, hair, car, etc. and are you continually trying to mask it with deodorant, perfumes, etc.? If you aren’t embarrassed by your smoking habit why are you trying to hide it?
  4. Are professional or work colleagues shunning you now that they have quit smoking? It is no longer “cool” to smoke. 75% of adults are now non-smokers. Smoking today is viewed as a lack of control.
  5. Are your kids telling you to quit because they are worried about your health? Are you worried about the example you are setting for your children or grandchildren?
  6. Are you getting fed up with having to go outside to smoke at pubs or restaurants just to appease the habit?
  7. Do you have to go outside and smoke because your spouse or partner doesn’t want it in the house?
  8. Why do you shower before work? Is it to clean the smell off of you before work? Have you noticed people avoid you when you smoke?

If you answered yes to any of these you might be ready to quit for good! Ultimately, though, you have to decide that the benefits of quitting outweigh the benefits you gain from lighting up. To see how you view smoking and your health take the quick quiz below.

Directions: Go through the quiz. Answer each question truthfully and honestly. Add up the points as you go. Once you finish the quiz total up the points for each answer to find if you are ready to quit or not.

1. Smoking cigarettes is pleasurable.

Strongly agree – 1 point

Agree – 2 points

No opinion or uncertain – 3 points

Disagree – 4 points

Strongly disagree – 5 points

2. My smoking affects the health of others.

Strongly agree- 5 points

Agree – 4 points

No opinion or uncertain – 3 points

Disagree – 2 points

Strongly disagree – 1 point

3. I like the image of a cigarette smoker.

Strongly agree – 1 point

Agree -2 points

No opinion or uncertain – 3 points

Disagree- 4 points

Strongly disagree – 5 points

4. Others close to me would suffer if I became ill from smoking.

Strongly agree – 5 points

Agree – 4 points

No opinion or uncertain – 3 points

Disagree – 2 points

Strongly disagree – 1 point

5. I am relaxed and therefore more pleasant when smoking.

Strongly agree -1 point

Agree – 2 points

No opinion or uncertain -3 points

Disagree – 4 points

Strongly disagree – 5 points

6. Because I continue to smoke, some people I know think I lack the character to quit.

Strongly agree -5 points

Agree – 4 points

No opinion or uncertain -3 points

Disagree – 2 points

Strongly disagree – 1 point

7. If I try to stop smoking I’ll be irritable and a pain to be around.

Strongly agree -1 point

Agree – 2 points

No opinion or uncertain -3 points

Disagree – 4 points

Strongly disagree – 5 points

8. Smoking cigarettes is hazardous to my health.

Strongly agree – 5 points

Agree – 4 points

No opinion or uncertain – 3 points

Disagree – 2 points

Strongly disagree – 1 point

9. My family and friends like me better when I am happily smoking than when I am miserable trying to quit.

Strongly agree – 1 point

Agree – 2 points

No opinion or uncertain – 3 points

Disagree – 4 points

Strongly disagree – 5 points

10. I’m embarrassed to have to smoke.

Strongly agree – 5 points

Agree – 4 points

No opinion or uncertain – 3 points

Disagree – 2 points

Strongly disagree – 1 points

11. I like myself better when I smoke.

Strongly agree -1 point

Agree – 2 points

No opinion or uncertain -3 points

Disagree – 4 points

Strongly disagree – 5 points

12. My cigarette smoking bothers other people.

Strongly agree – 5 points

Agree – 4 points

No opinion or uncertain – 3 points

Disagree – 2 points

Strongly disagree – 1 point

13. Smoking helps me concentrate and do better work.

Strongly agree -1 point

Agree – 2 points

No opinion or uncertain – 3 points

Disagree – 4 points

Strongly disagree – 5 points

14. People think I’m foolish for ignoring the warnings about cigarette smoking.

Strongly agree – 5 points

Agree – 4 points

No opinion or uncertain – 3 points

Disagree – 2 points

Strongly disagree – 1 point

15. Smoking cigarettes relieves tension.

Strongly agree – 1 point

Agree – 2 points

No opinion or uncertain – 3 points

Disagree – 4 points

Strongly disagree – 5 points

16. People close to me disapprove of my smoking.

Strongly agree – 5 points

Agree – 4 points

No opinion or uncertain – 3 points

Disagree – 2 points

Strongly disagree – 1 point

17. By continuing to smoke I feel I am making my own decisions.

Strongly agree – 1 point

Agree – 2 points

No opinion or uncertain – 3 points

Disagree – 4 points

Strongly disagree – 5 points

18. I’m foolish to ignore the warnings about cigarettes.

Strongly agree – 5 points

Agree – 4 points

No opinion or uncertain – 3 points

Disagree – 2 points

Strongly disagree – 1 point

19. After not smoking for a while a cigarette makes me feel great.

Strongly agree – 1 point

Agree – 2 points

No opinion or uncertain – 3 points

Disagree – 4 points

Strongly disagree – 5 points

20. I would be more energetic right now if I didn’t smoke.

Strongly agree – 5 points

Agree – 4 points

No opinion or uncertain – 3 points

Disagree – 2 points

Strongly disagree – 1 point

Results

Under 50 points

It looks like you still see a lot of positives about smoking and you may be a little hesitant to take action. It is encouraged that you think about your life and your personal reasons for smoking. It is also encouraged that you to spend a bit of time thinking about the positive aspects of quitting. Most people cite improved health and reduced risk of many devastating smoking-related illnesses. Others are motivated by financial savings, freedom from the addiction, or setting a positive example for their children or grandchildren.

Are you tired of spending a lot of money on cigarettes? Want to see how much money you’ll be saving?

If you smoke one pack a day and spend $5.51 on each pack and you quit: You could save:

$165.30 per month

$1983.60 per year

$19836.00 per decade

After quitting for one year you could save enough money to buy a 60 inch 3D HDTV Smart TV!

Are you sick of having to go outside in the rain or snow to get your nicotine fix? Are you sick of being controlled by the addiction to cigarettes? Have most of your friends quit already? Are you finding that smoking is less socially acceptable?

This is a time to stop and think and to weigh your options. Even if you’re not yet ready to quit completely, perhaps you may be ready to take one or two small steps towards quitting, like cutting back on the number of cigarettes you smoke.

Another idea is to connect with the Smokers’ Helpline at 1-800-363-5864 to further discuss the positives and negatives of quitting and to help you weigh your options. By calling this number, there is no pressure to quit smoking right away, but rather to support you regardless of where you are in the process.

Over 50 points

If you scored over 50%, you feel that there are more positives to quitting smoking. You may be thinking about quitting smoking, or you may have already taken some steps toward quitting.

If so, you are encouraged to visit the Quit Journey on https://www.smokershelp.net/. The information there will help you come up with a Quit Plan as well as information on how to find the support you need. You can also call Smokers’ Helpline at 1-800-363-5864. The Helpline offers a variety of services to support you along the way. You can also visit https://smokefree.gov/ for more information.

Even if you’re not yet ready to quit completely, it’s likely that you’re ready to take a few steps towards quitting. Check out the small steps you can take towards quitting below.

If you determine you are ready to quit and the benefits of quitting outweigh the satisfaction of smoking here are some good first steps to take:

  1. Reduce the amount you smoke. Try cutting back a cigarette or cigar a day.
  2. Change your routine to help curb the cravings of picking up the cigar or cigarette or try buying a less desirable brand of cigar/cigarette.
  3. Make your car and home smoke-free.
  4. Make smoking time inconvenient. For example, make getting out a cigar or cigarette hard or far from reach.
  5. Search out smoking cessation programs near you or call a hotline to talk to a certified facilitator.

 

Based on “Decisional Balance Measure for Assessing and Predicting Smoking Status” by W.F. Velicer, C.C. DiClemente, J.O. Prochaska and N. Brandenburg. First published in 1985, this test has been used widely over the years. For more information visit: https://www.smokershelp.net/facts-tools/quiz-how-ready-are-you/