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Setting a quit date and preparing to quit smoking or vaping

Setting a quit date can help you feel like you're taking control, and it gives you time to prepare.

It gives you a chance to chuck out the cigarettes and ashtrays, or your vapes, dust off your walking shoes, and make sure ‘Eye of the Tiger’ is at the top of your playlist. It also helps you get your head around quitting, and it feels good to take charge of your quit plan.  

Quitting on the spot works for some people – if you're feeling it, go for it! – but setting a quit date can be really useful. 

Tips for setting a quit date:

  • Pick a date in the next two weeks. Give yourself time to prepare, but don’t leave it too long so that you lose motivation.

  • Choose a day to stop smoking or vaping when you’ll be busy, but not under too much pressure. 

  • Get rid of any cigarettes or vapes the night before. If you have them in the house, you’re always a minute away from picking them up. Cravings come and go so a few minutes can make all the difference. 

  • If you live with someone who smokes or vapes, talk to them about your quit day and quitting. How would you like to be supported? 

  • Plan for your quit day so you’re ready to go when you wake up e.g. have your new breakfast routine sorted and the car full of petrol.

Quit date set, let’s prepare!

If you’ve decided to quit or have set a quit date, well done! Now it’s time to prepare and increase your chances of quitting for good.  

  • Make your house and car smoke and vape free

  • Experiment by not smoking or vaping at times when you normally would e.g. the pub, breaks at work, or with your morning coffee. 

  • Try a new time-out routine. 

  • Try a day without smoking or vaping (some people end up just quitting at the end of a break). 

  • Separate smoking or vaping from pleasant activities like sipping warm drinks, sitting down, TV, socialising.  

  • Decide to refuse all offers of cigarettes or vapes from others. 

  • Consider picking up a new hobby or revive an old one. Exercise is a great way to conquer a craving. 

  • Talk to your partner, or friends and family. How would you like to be supported? Are you an ask-me-how-I’m-going type person or the don’t-mention-it type?  

  • Do a quit shop: think healthy snacks – carrots and celery sticks, seeds and nuts, baked beans, a new drink bottle. 

  • See your GP – if you take medication, some dosages may need to be changed when you quit. 

  • Your GP or pharmacist can advise if any medications are appropriate to help you stop smoking and/or vaping. 

Quitline can help you choose a good quit date and prepare

Our Quitline counsellors can help you develop tactics to resist cravings and increase your chances of quitting for good. They can even organise to call you on your quit date, and in the early weeks of quitting. 

There are many ways to contact Quitline:

Ways to get in touch

Please note,this information is for general use only.  Please consult your health professional for further advice.  

If you would like to provide feedback, please contact 

Last updated March 2024

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