Quit Smoking Resources
The California Smokers’ Helpline is a telephone program that can help you quit smoking. These services are free! The Helpline has assisted smokers in quitting since 1992. Every month, thousands of Californians call and receive help. When you call the toll-free number, a friendly staff person will offer a choice of services: self-help materials, a referral list of other programs, and one-on-one counseling over the phone. In a research study those who received telephone counseling were twice as likely to stay quit than those who tried to quit on their own. The California Smokers’ Helpline is committed to serving California’s diverse population.
Common Questions about Quitting Smoking
Q. Smoking is a part of my life. What will I do without it?
A. The key is to learn new ways of dealing with the situations that make you want to smoke, such as stress or boredom. Find something fulfilling to do, like a hobby or other activity. It will help you adjust to your new smoke-free lifestyle.
Q. The last time I tried, I failed. How do I get past thinking that I just can’t quit?
A. Most people try several times before they quit for good. Think of your previous attempts as “practice” for the real thing. Think of the things that helped, and the things that didn’t. Your experience actually gives you an edge. It makes you more likely to quit for good this time.
Q. Will cutting down help me to quit?
A. It could, as long as you plan to quit completely once you get down to a certain point. Cutting down can be a good way to build your confidence while gradually reducing your nicotine intake. If you want to quit completely, you need to set a Quit Day and stick to it. Otherwise it can be very difficult to give up those last few cigarettes.
Q. The last time I quit I was irritable and moody. How do I keep from putting my family through that again?
A. It’s true, quitting smoking can make you irritable. Many people get moody when withdrawing from nicotine. But with a good plan and an active routine, you’ll be better prepared to handle bad moods. Ask your family and friends to be patient. By the end of the first week or two, you should be feeling less irritable.
Q. Should I use the patch or some other quitting aid?
A. Some people find such aids to be helpful. The most common ones are nicotine patches, nicotine gum, and certain medications. They can be especially helpful for people who smoke more than 15 cigarettes a day. On the other hand, many smokers prefer to quit cold turkey. Whether you use a quitting aid or go cold turkey is a personal decision. You may wish to discuss it with your doctor.
Helpline Phone Numbers
|TDD/TTY Hearing Impaired
|California Tobacco Chewer's Hotline
Counselors are available weekdays 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and weekends 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If you call after hours or if the lines are busy, you will reach the Helpline's 24-hour voice mail service. You will need to leave a message and your call will be returned.
TobaccoFreeCA.com is an educational web site created to provide an extension of the California Tobacco Control Program's Media Campaign. The site features information about the health effects of tobacco use, resources and links for cessation, downloadable e-cards and streaming video advertisements, that promote awareness of the perils of tobacco use. TobaccoFreeCA.com also operates a Facebook page for Californians to receive additional information on tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, and engage with a tobacco-free community.
Return to California Tobacco Control Program