At this point, everyone knows that smoking is bad for you, and that quitting smoking is great for your health. Anti-smoking campaigns have been around for years, so we’re equipped with the information– but putting it into practice is another matter entirely.

Ultimately, quitting smoking is a transformative journey that promises numerous health benefits and a renewed sense of wellbeing. But the path between smoking regularly and quitting permanently is a challenging one.

If you’re ready to make that journey yourself, we’ve compiled some of our very best advice for smokers who are trying to quit.

Set a quit date

Select a specific date on which you intend to quit smoking. Mark it on your calendar and add it to your online calendars, too. Having a clear date in mind can help you prepare for the journey ahead. Telling your friends and family about your quit date can also help to hold you to your word– and they can be prepared to give a little extra support when the time comes.

You can also give yourself a head start by reducing your smoking habits during the time leading up to your quit day.

Identify craving triggers and make a plan

Chances are good that something you encounter throughout your daily life triggers you to crave a cigarette. During the time leading up to your established quit date, pay close attention to the situations and emotions that trigger your desire to smoke.

Some of these triggers might include stress, crowded or tense social gatherings, or even just certain times of day.

Identify an alternate activity you can do when you’re triggered, and have it ready the next time a craving pops up. When you’re in a crowded social situation, you don’t need to smoke a cigarette to have an excuse to step away for a little while. You can just go get some air, or take a quick walk around the block.

Seek support

Quitting is always more manageable if you have a good support network of friends and family who are aware of your quitting journey.

Tell your loved ones that you’ve decided to quit, and let them know that you need their encouragement.

You can also look into various programs or online forums to connect with other people who are in the process of quitting, too. These groups can help you provide support to others and receive it at the same time!

Nicotine replacement therapy

Quitting smoking cold-turkey is statistically more likely to be a success, but everyone’s situation is different. You might find that the use of nicotine replacement therapy products– like patches, gum, or lozenges– can help you to reduce cravings and symptoms.

Before your quit date, you can even try out different products to see which ones work with your lifestyle before you quit smoking entirely. Make it a goal to cut out a couple of cigarettes a day, and replace them with an NRT product.

Remove temptation

When your quit date rolls around, make it easier on yourself by creating an environment that’s free of triggers. Get rid of cigarettes, lighters, and ashtrays. An environment that’s free of these items can help you to reinforce your commitment to quitting.

Be patient

Quitting smoking isn’t easy. It’s a difficult process for everyone, and it requires some patience and persistence. You might not succeed on your first try, but don’t let a setback cause you to give up entirely. Learn from your experience, and use it as motivation to continue on your journey toward quitting for good.

With a good amount of determination, support, and a solid plan, you can overcome the challenges of quitting and enjoy a smoke-free life. Keep in mind that every effort counts, and believe in your ability to succeed!