Are you having back pain with any of the following?

  • Severe pain, weakness or tingling in your leg(s).
  • Difficulty stopping urination or loss of control of bladder or bowels.
  • Unexplained fever, nausea or vomiting.
  • A history of cancer or unexplained weight loss.

We understand that you are experiencing one or more of the health issues that might be impacting your back pain.

We recommend that you discuss these health issues with your doctor before proceeding with this program.

Once you are cleared by your doctor to do this program, we hope it helps you find relief from your back pain.

How to Quit Tobacco

Common Challenges

When you stop using tobacco it will take your body time to adjust. You may experience intense nicotine withdrawal symptoms, especially during the first week. Common symptoms include:

  • Irritability 
  • Trouble concentrating 

There are medications available to help you cope with them. Symptoms usually improve over several weeks.

You may be surprised by how much you've relied on tobacco to get through your day. Without tobacco, you'll need new ways to manage many situations. One way to prepare to quit is to pay attention to when and why you smoke. Smoking may be part of your daily routine, and you might: 

  • Depend on tobacco for emotional support. 
  • Smoke when you're stressed, lonely, angry, or bored. 

To quit successfully, you’ll need to adjust your routines and find new ways to manage emotional ups and downs and social situations.  

Choose Your Next Step

Your next step will depend on how ready you are to quit tobacco. You might need more time to think about what you like or dislike about tobacco. You may want to: 

  • Record your daily routines to understand how you use tobacco. 
  • Make some lifestyle adjustments so that smoking is less convenient and attractive. 

You may also be ready to take the necessary steps to quit now.  

If You're Not Ready to Quit

Take some time to think more about tobacco and its place in your life, even if you're not ready to quit right now. 

  • Make a list of tobacco pros and cons, and things you like about smoking. List the reasons you think you might be ready to make a change.  
  • Ask yourself what would need to be different for you to consider making that change.

If You're in the Middle of the Road

If you are undecided about quitting:

  • Ask yourself why you continue to smoke and why you might want to quit.
  • Keep a smoking journal for several days and note when you smoked each cigarette, what you were doing, who you were with, and how you felt.   
  • Look for patterns in your journal that reveal when and why you smoke. Perhaps you rely on tobacco to deal with stressful situations. Or perhaps certain triggers, like drinking coffee or driving, cause you to smoke. Think about other ways to meet your needs.
  • Make small changes so that tobacco is a less automatic part of your life, such as switching brands or buying individual packs rather than cartons. Choose times during the day to practice being tobacco-free.

If You’re Ready to Quit Now

If you're ready to quit right now, we recommend you follow these steps to develop a plan:  

  • Make a list of your top reasons for quitting. Keep copies everywhere – in your wallet, on the fridge, on your desk.
  • Anticipate the challenges you might experience when quitting. Brainstorm strategies to overcome them. 
  • Find out about local quit smoking programs and support groups. Talk with a KP Wellness Coach, join a quit tobacco class, or go online for tailored support. 
  • Talk to your friends and family about quitting and ask for their support. 
  • Learn about medications that can help you quit.

Strategies We Recommend

Make sure you’re ready. Feeling motivated to quit and confident that you can be successful is key. Your reasons for quitting must be powerful enough to help you overcome barriers that might get in your way.

Plan, plan, plan. We can help you develop your plan. You can enlist family, friends, or a support group to help you. Consider including KP smoking cessation programs as part of your plan.

Consider medications to ease cravings and other symptoms. Talk with your doctor or Wellness Coach about options.

Seek support. You are more likely to succeed if you have support and reinforcement before, during, and after you quit. You can:

  • Identify a friend or family member to check in with regularly. 
  • Avoid social situations associated with tobacco. 
  • Ask friends and family not to smoke around you.   

Kaiser Permanente Resources to Help You Quit Tobacco

We know that quitting smoking can be hard. No single approach works for everybody. That’s why we recommend you use a combination of approaches that include:

  • A comprehensive quit plan 
  • Quit tobacco medications

Group or individual support 

Kaiser Permanente offers a range of free quit smoking resources and programs. These include coaching, workshops, and online tools. Choose the resources that suit your learning style and preferences.   

Studies show that using quit tobacco medications or participating in a smoking cessation program can make it more likely that you will quit smoking successfully. Doing both is an effective strategy that doubles your chances of success. Contact your local Health Education Center for more information.

Group Classes

Freedom from Tobacco Program. Declare your freedom and join our 6-week tobacco cessation program. This program is highly effective. It provides guidance from a seasoned instructor as well as the support of participants.

Learn about:

  • Nicotine addiction.
  • How to develop a personal quit plan that includes effective strategies and medications.
  • How to deal with withdrawal.

Quit Tobacco Workshop. This one-session workshop is designed to help you develop your own quit plan. In a positive, no-pressure environment, learn about:

  • The nature of addiction.
  • Cessation strategies and medications.
  • Ways to prevent relapse.

If you need some brief tips, or the chance to come up with an effective plan, this workshop is for you.

Individualized Programs

Wellness Coaching can help you create – and stick with – a plan for reaching your goals. Call 1-866-251-4514 to schedule your no-cost phone appointment with your personal coach. A personal Wellness Coach can help you:

  • Quit tobacco
  • Live a healthier lifestyle
  • Handle stress 

Individual Counseling Sessions. You’ll meet one-on-one with a Clinical Health Educator (CHE) for 4 sessions. Your CHE will help you identify effective smoking cessation strategies. Together, you’ll develop these into a personal quit plan. Contact your local Health Education Department to find out if this service is available at your medical center.

Breathe™.  Explore your motivations for quitting and make a personalized quit plan. Breathe™ is an award-winning online tool (see related health tools at right) that helps you identify a plan. You’ll receive follow-up support by email once you’ve completed the program. 

Additional References:

Related Health Tools:

Classes and Coaching
Interactive Programs

If you have an emergency medical condition, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. An emergency medical condition is any of the following: (1) a medical condition that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that you could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in serious jeopardy to your health or body functions or organs; (2) active labor when there isn't enough time for safe transfer to a Plan hospital (or designated hospital) before delivery, or if transfer poses a threat to your (or your unborn child's) health and safety, or (3) a mental disorder that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity such that either you are an immediate danger to yourself or others, or you are not immediately able to provide for, or use, food, shelter, or clothing, due to the mental disorder.

This information is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of specific medical advice or care you receive from your physician or other health care professional. If you have persistent health problems, or if you have additional questions, please consult with your doctor. If you have questions or need more information about your medication, please speak to your pharmacist. Kaiser Permanente does not endorse the medications or products mentioned. Any trade names listed are for easy identification only.