Common Myths About Quitting Tobacco

With a number of half-truths and flat-out lies floating around about quitting, we think it’s time to set the record…

tobacco myths

With a number of half-truths and flat-out lies floating around about quitting, we think it’s time to set the record straight. Quitting tobacco is the most positive health decision you can make — and it’s important to set the right expectations when you take this next step and know what the common myths about quitting tobacco are.

Below are some of the biggest misconceptions about quitting and some examples of real-world methods that helped people successfully become tobacco free.

free NRT patches

MYTH: The Role of Patches, Gum and Lozenges

What’s one of the biggest misconceptions about quitting tobacco?

That NRTs (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) like patches, gum or lozenges do all the work. Wrong! The truth: NRTs are just one part of an important journey. They’re actually even more effective when paired with additional methods like behavioral counseling.

By registering with the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline, you can get at least two weeks of NRT for FREE! Call 1-800-QUIT NOW or visit to learn more.

happy family

MYTH: Quitting is a Solo Mission

Another misconception: Quitting is all up to YOU.

The truth: Friends and loved ones play a critical role in your quit journey. Share your plan to quit tobacco with them. You’ll be surprised at how their love and support can provide a needed boost.

Take a look at these stories to see how family and friends helped:

save money

FACT: Brenda Cashed In

Before she quit, Brenda smoked 3 packs per day. Having smoked since she was 8, she decided it was time to quit by the time she was in her 20s when her grandmother made an offer.

If Brenda could stay smokefree for one year, as a reward, her grandmother would pay her the cost-equivalent of one year’s worth of cigarettes. Brenda recalls, “After taking the money, there was no way I would cheat her. I am grateful for the love that motivated both of us to make me a nonsmoker.”

Never underestimate the ability of your friends or loved ones to support your journey to quit. By sharing your intention to go tobacco free, they become invested in your goal to quit.


FACT: Becky Found Strength in Numbers

Becky smoked about a pack and a half per day for 32 years before deciding to stop. So, she signed up to quit with the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline along with about 20 of her coworkers.

Becky reflects, “I’m so glad I quit, and I don’t miss it a bit.”

Sometimes the key to quitting is to try with others. Reaching out to friends, family or even coworkers might provide you with the extra motivation and support you need to succeed.

personal journal

MYTH: No Planning Required

One more misconception is that quitting doesn’t require planning. The truth is, the more you plan ahead, the better your chance of success. Learn more about how to make a quit plan.

Creating a plan also means lining up activities to help combat tobacco cravings. Here are two real-world examples:


FACT: How Katie’s Planning Beat Cravings

Tired of the smell and the constant urge to light up, Katie and her fiancé decided to quit. She explains: “We wanted to be healthier and breathe better.”

There was one extra motivator as well: “I wanted to be a mother, and I didn’t want to quit once I found out I was pregnant. I wanted my body to be ready.”

She admits she still feels the urge to smoke. However, she’s got a great way to fight cravings. “I use a color-by-numbers adult coloring book. I love it. It keeps my mind going.” Now, whenever cravings strike, Katie colors them away!

Adult coloring books are just one of many effective ways to beat cravings. Not into coloring? Find other activities like sudoku and crossword puzzles.

cross stitch

FACT: New Hobbies Make a Difference

Whitney smoked for years. When it came time to quit, she found herself needing something to keep her hands busy. That’s when she picked up cross-stitch.

The best part? Whitney now has a skill perfect for keeping her hands and mind occupied, which helps her stay tobacco free. As an added bonus, cross-stitching means she always has a way to make customized, hand-crafted gifts for friends and family.

Quit Your Way

Remember, despite the misconceptions, there is no one sure-fire way to quit tobacco. However, there are plenty of methods proven to be effective. The most important part of quitting tobacco is making a plan, finding the method that works best for you, and then sticking to it.

We hope you found these real-world examples helpful. Check out more inspiring success stories!

free phone services

The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline is Here

Since 2003, the Helpline has helped more than 450,000 Oklahomans quit tobacco for FREE. The Helpline’s tools and resources are proven to be effective in the fight against tobacco. Call 1-800-QUIT NOW or visit to learn more.