YouCanQuit2 Ready-to-Use Messages
Find 58 ready-to-use messages below on topics such as thinking and preparing to quit tobacco; the impacts of tobacco use on physical, social, financial, and psychological health; helping others quit tobacco; and different smoke and smokeless tobacco products and the associated risks. These messages can be used on POD/POW/POM notes, in newsletters and publications as well as on social media.
Thinking About Quitting Tobacco
- Quitting smoking cigarettes at any age can add as much as a decade to your life. Stopping not only improves your health, but also the quality of your life. That’s good news for smokers who want to quit.
- You might not see the immediate effects from smoking in your day-to-day activities, but studies show that smokers do not perform as well on physical fitness tests and are less productive than non-smokers. It’s time to think about quitting.
- For tobacco users that are thinking about quitting, the great news is that there are proven treatments such as medication and counseling available to help you quit tobacco and stay quit. Talk to your health care provider about the best TRICARE covered options for you.
- Did you know that by simply thinking about quitting tobacco you are already taking the first step to quit? Spending time considering your reasons for quitting and the potential roadblocks can help you decide if now’s the right time for you.
- If you’ve tried quitting tobacco before and it didn’t stick, conduct your own after-action report to consider what happened on your last try, and remember making multiple quit attempts is normal. Each try is a learning opportunity to make your quit plan stronger so you can quit for good.
- Extra cash is always a good idea. Use this savings calculator and see how much money you can save by going tobacco free.
- Maybe you tried to in the past but started using again, or you are not sure if you’re ready to take on quitting tobacco. Whatever your reason, use these tobacco cessation resources [PDF 433KB] to help you build and increase your motivation and confidence so that you can quit tobacco for good.
Preparing To Quit Tobacco
- Take some of the effort out of planning for your quit from tobacco by creating your own personal quit plan. The YouCanQuit2 Quit Plan is a mobile-first, app-like interactive tool that walks you step-by-step on how to prepare including setting a quit date, tracking progress, celebrating milestones and much more!
- The morning of a PT test might not be the ideal day to start your journey to becoming tobacco free. As you prepare to quit, try to avoid very stressful times and plan how you’ll keep busy and spend your first day tobacco free.
- When certain people, situations, activities or feelings make you want to use tobacco, these are called triggers. Triggers can look different for everyone but identifying what those look like for you before and during your quit journey can help you create a stronger quit plan to be tobacco free.
- Quitting tobacco is a huge step towards living a healthy lifestyle and building healthy habits such as eating a balanced diet and exercising can increase your chances of quitting and boost how you feel every day to help you stay quit.
- Tell your crew. Your friends and family can provide support and encouragement during your journey to become tobacco free and they can also act as accountability partners to help you stay on track.
- Looking for a program or resource to help you quit tobacco? No problem. Check out the YouCanQuit2 Support Locator to easily find resources for a variety of tobacco cessation needs.
- Access this one-stop shop of resources and tools available when you are ready to start your tobacco quit journey: Tobacco Cessation Resources Guide [PDF 433KB].
- If you find yourself living with a tobacco user and you’re looking to quit tobacco, communicate early and often with them so they understand your expectations and your plan. You’ll both be better able to create a safe and supportive space for your quit journey.
- Nicotine withdrawal symptoms can look and feel different for everyone and can be uncomfortable, but your health is not in danger from these symptoms. Remind yourself that the feeling will pass shortly and have a plan on how you’ll deal with them before you start your quit journey.
- The longer you stay quit from tobacco, the less nicotine withdrawal symptoms you’ll experience as your body gets used to not having the nicotine from tobacco. Learning the common symptoms before they happen can help you power through discomfort and stay quit.
- Combined with other tactics like counseling, medications can make quitting tobacco and withdrawing from nicotine a little easier. Talk to your health care provider about which options are best suited to your quit goals and how you can obtain them.
Quit Day Actions
- Have your quit plan ready and visible! That way you can easily access your personal reasons to quit, monitor your progress to help stay on track and conquer hard moments and celebrate the big and little successes!
- Ready, set, it’s quit day! Keep busy, think positive, grab a buddy and stay away from triggers if possible. Plan something special to celebrate your first milestone whether it be your first tobacco free day or at the end of your first tobacco free week.
Reasons for Staying Quit
- It is normal to crave tobacco and crave hard but remember the reasons you quit in the first place. You might find that you can add new reasons to your list after you’ve been quit for a short period of time like food tasting or smelling amazing.
- Be proud of your quit journey, bumps and all. Slips are normal to experience and do not mean you are a failure or doing something wrong. Use them as a learning experience and get back on track. Don’t give up and remember your reasons why you quit tobacco.
- If a family ritual includes tobacco, it can seem daunting to skip out or change it. Try suggesting a new family tradition that is tobacco free like football or card games to refresh family gatherings and provide healthier tobacco- free alternatives.
- Newsflash for those under age 25: your brain is still developing, and nicotine can harm the parts of your brain that control attention and learning or put you at risk for lower impulse control. Avoid tobacco in general and let that brain keep on growing.
Beat Tobacco Cravings
- It’s hard to break up with tobacco but reminding yourself why you’re better than tobacco can help you stay away. Some break up reasons include reminding yourself how much cash you’re saving by not buying tobacco products, how much better you can breathe and your improved bedroom stamina.
- Things that make you want to use tobacco (triggers) may not be 100% unavoidable but having a plan in your back pocket to fight back will help you stay quit and beat triggers like a pro.
- Refocus your energy when tobacco cravings hit by taking a quick walk or completing a round of push-ups or burpees because you’ll find cravings pass within five to ten minutes. You’ve got this!
- If your wake-up routine includes using tobacco, try posting your reasons for quitting somewhere you’ll see them as soon as you wake up to help remind you to stick to your quit goals.
- You’re going to be a parent- CONGRATS! Quitting tobacco to welcome a new baby is something to be proud of. Have a plan in place to fight tobacco cravings to stay healthy for yourself and your family.
- Slipping and using tobacco once or twice while trying to quit does not make you a failure. Most people don’t stay quit after just one or even two tries – so you aren’t alone. Take the opportunity to think about what might have triggered you to use tobacco and what alternative activities you can try next time.
- Deployment got you thinking about quitting or staying quit? Being deployed doesn’t mean being without support to start or continue your tobacco free journey.
- Text message programs offer tailored support for where you are in your journey to be tobacco free. These programs offer different types of support and can be helpful when you’re having a craving or need on-demand encouragement. Try one on for size to find the one right for you!
- Everyone feels stress sometimes, but if you’re a tobacco user, you may be more likely to reach for a tobacco product for relief. Learn what situations or environments make you tick and then apply the 4 A’s: Avoid the stressor, Alter the situation, Accept what you can’t change and Adapt to the situation.
- Using positive self-talk can help reduce stress and decrease the urge to use tobacco. Try reminding yourself your reasons for quitting to develop a positive self-talk script to use anytime you need it.
- Need a quick way to relax without reaching for a tobacco product? Turn on your favorite playlist, text a friend or get outside for a walk or a bike ride to clear your head and get the endorphins pumping. If you can’t go outside, try a quick workout or a set of push-ups. Find more quick ways that work best for you to beat stress.
- Does your bedtime routine include tobacco products? Nicotine can disrupt sleep so instead try adding a new step before bed such as a warm shower or bath, listening to a soothing playlist or reading a book. If sleep problems continue, talk to your health care provider to brainstorm additional solutions that’ll work for you.
Weight and Weight Gain
- Weight gain is common when you quit tobacco because you might want to replace tobacco with food, you might be hungrier (nicotine reduces appetite) or the taste and smell of food improves. Stock up on healthy snacks or up your workouts to help combat calories.
- Your body’s metabolism slows [PDF 394KB] when quitting tobacco because nicotine helps to speed it up. You’ll have to work a little harder to burn those calories, but soon you’ll be crushing your new workout routine and setting new PR goals, which will help you on your journey to become tobacco free.
Impacts on Sexual Performance
- Using tobacco like smokeless, e-cigs or cigarettes won’t help you between the sheets, it’s the opposite- sexual performance is impaired! Ditch tobacco products to crush your bedroom game.
- Tobacco reduces physical stamina and decreases sexual performance. Quitting tobacco may improve these areas.
Helping Others Quit Tobacco
Help Them Consider
- Making the choice to quit tobacco is difficult and very personal. You can help someone considering quitting by offering encouragement, not pressure. Don’t get frustrated if they don’t quit right away and remember this is about being there for them and supporting their quit goals.
Help Them Prepare
- You can help someone preparing to quit, by learning what a quit plan is and what to expect, and asking them how you can support them on their journey to be tobacco free. The journey is theirs, but you can support them on their quit day or lend a second set of eyes to spot their triggers and help them combat tobacco urges.
- Making yourself available on someone’s quit day can mean taking them out to a tobacco free activity or pumping them up via text during the day to let them know they aren’t alone. You’ll help them feel supported by letting them know you are with them for the long haul.
Help Them Quit Tobacco and Stay Quit
- Be mindful- if you also use tobacco, don’t use any products in front of your buddy who is quitting and don’t offer any tobacco products for use or ask them to join you for a break in a designated tobacco use area. Support their quit journey by respecting their choice to go tobacco free.
- Who said distraction can’t be a good thing? Support someone’s quit by providing a distraction from nicotine and tobacco cravings- plan a workout or a quick walk when needed and plan to get together at places where tobacco cannot be used.
- Grab a buddy and make quitting a team effort. Together you’ll be able to support and motivate each other to quit tobacco and stay quit.
Tobacco & E-cigarettes
- E-cigarettes are not an FDA-approved way to quit other forms of tobacco and come with their own health risks. Instead, you should talk with your health care provider about options for quitting including counseling, medications or tobacco cessation products that can help your quit.
- E-cigs, vapes, e-hookahs and JUULs are types of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) that are just as addictive as traditional cigarettes because most contain nicotine. Sorry- there just is no such thing as a safe tobacco product.
- Vaping is not a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes. The truth is vaping, the act of using e-cigarettes, harms the brain, can cause nicotine addiction, decreases lung function, and can cause life-threatening injuries if the device explodes. Find a resource or program to help you quit using the YouCanQuit2 Support Locator.
Smoking Tobacco (Cigarettes, Hookah, Cigars and Pipes)
- Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at an increased risk of many negative health effects and diseases such as respiratory infections, slowed lung growth and even sudden infant death. Quitting tobacco not only increases your own health and life span but helps those around you too.
- You can’t escape the dangers of cigar smoking by not inhaling. Smoking cigars is linked to gum disease and tooth loss as well as cancers in the mouth. Next time a celebration is in order, share a memorable story rather than a puff on a cigar.
Smokeless Tobacco (Chew, Dip, Snuff and Snus)
- Smokeless tobacco (think dip, chew, snuff and snus) still can put you at risk for many of the same heart conditions and cancers as smoking tobacco plus it causes mouth and gum disease, bad breath and tooth loss. Spoiler alert: there is no “safe” type of tobacco. Protect your health by avoiding smokeless tobacco and all other types of tobacco.
- Snus, a form of smokeless tobacco, is not a tool to help you quit smoking or vaping. Tobacco cessation medications can help with nicotine withdrawal symptoms so you can quit comfortably. Your health care provider can brainstorm the best TRICARE-covered options for you.
- Smokeless tobacco contains more nicotine, which is highly addictive, than cigarettes and there is no proof that it can help people quit smoking. On the flip side, the benefits of quitting tobacco begin within minutes and continue for years.