When preparing to quit smoking, many people try to quit on their own and use self-help materials (e.g., books, pamphlets, online resources). Although this seems to be the most common form of “counselling” for people who are planning to quit, it isn’t particularly effective. While some people are successful at quitting smoking without any help from a health care provider or smoking cessation specialist, research shows that even brief counselling improves your chances of successfully quitting smoking. In fact, the more person-to-person contact you have before or during the quitting process, the more likely you are to successfully quit.
If you are currently planning your quit date or have recently quit smoking, there are several professional people you can go to for support and guidance, including:
- your doctor
- your pharmacist
- your dentist
- smoking cessation specialists
Group counselling has also been shown to be a more successful method than quitting alone. In group programs, 4 to 12 people trying to quit smoking and facing similar challenges, receive support and advice from trained specialists during the quitting process. Specialized and intensive counselling at smoking cessation or addiction clinics is another effective method for quitting, and may be helpful for people who:
- are highly addicted
- have tried quitting in the past without success
- are facing other medical or addiction problems along with smoking
Make it easier on yourself when you quit smoking. You don’t have to go through it alone! Whether it’s a quick 3 minute chat with a health care provider or a group counselling session, taking advantage of these programs gives you a better chance of successfully quitting than going at it alone!