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Dr. Jill's Quit Tips

Medications can help

  • Most experts recommend that EVERYONE trying to quit smoking should use medications to help them.
  • There are 5 types of nicotine medications and 2 non-nicotine medications called bupropion (Zyban) and varenicline (Chantix).
  • Nicotine patch, nicotine gum and nicotine lozenge are available in stores without a doctor’s prescription.
  • Nicotine inhaler, nicotine nasal spray, bupropion (Zyban) and varenicline (Chantix) are available with a doctor’s prescription only and are covered by Medicaid in New Jersey.


There are new guidlines provided by the Food & Drug Administration regarding the use of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT).

  • Keep using if you slip up and have a cigarette.
  • Use beyond 12 weeks if needed to quit.
  • There do not appear to be significant concerns if smokers use nicotine replacement products in combination with another product, for example, a long acting skin patch with a short acting gum.
Taken from FDA Consumer Health Information/U.S. FDA

People who use medications to quit smoking:

  • Are twice as likely to be successful in quitting smoking than people who do not use medication.
  • Gain less weight when they quit smoking than people who do not use medication.
  • Have less unpleasant nicotine withdrawal symptoms and less craving for nicotine.

Setting a Quit Date

  • Although most smokers think about quitting someday, it can be helpful to set an exact day to try to stop smoking. This is called the “Quit Date”.
  • The Quit Date can be any day of the month but sometimes people like to choose a special day (birthday, anniversary) that has meaning for them.
  • It can be helpful to choose a Quit Date a few weeks from now, to give yourself some time to prepare.
  • Making preparations to quit smoking can help you to be more successful.

Here are some ways you can prepare for your Quit Date:

  • Do not buy large amounts of cigarettes or other tobacco products, like cartons of cigarettes, for example.
  • Buy cigarettes one pack at a time so you can run out of cigarettes on your Quit Date.
  • Throw away ashtrays, lighters and other things that remind you of smoking.
  • Remove ashes from your home or car. Smelling cigarettes or ashes can make you want to smoke.
  • Tell someone you are thinking about stopping smoking. This can be a roommate, friend or significant other. Let them know when your Quit Date will be so they can help you.
  • Call someone to get help. Ask your psychiatrist, nurse or mental health counselor if they can assist you.


The CHOICES program keeps a directory of places where you can get treatment to stop smoking. Some of the treatments are even free. Call us at 732-235-8232 for more information.

Dr. Jill Williams is Professor of Psychiatry at Rutgers University- Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick. Dr. Williams has received grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH) and the American Legacy Foundation to develop more effective treatments for smokers with mental illness.

Currently, Dr. Williams has studies underway to better understand smoking and mental illness and also to help smokers to quit. Anyone interested in talking to us about participating in a research study should contact us at 732-235-4341.

We're on TWITTER As a way of staying in touch with people we meet at site visits and health fairs, CHOICES has created a twitter account.  We will use this account to post news, updates, and share valuable health information.  Please follow us on twitter at @NJCHOICES

Mental Health Agencies or Self-Help Centers in New Jersey. Our peer advocates are available to come to your site to talk to consumers. Call us today at 732-235-8232.



CHOICES - 317 George Street, Suite 105, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 - Phone: 732-235-8232

Last Updated 12/27/16