You Can Quit Smoking

Five Common Myths About Quitting Smoking


Five myths still exist about quitting. You can get the facts here.


Five Common Myths

Myth 1: Smoking is just a bad habit.

Fact: Tobacco use is an addiction. According to the U.S. Public Health Service Clinical Practice Guideline, Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence, nicotine is a very addictive drug. For some people, it can be as addictive as heroin or cocaine.

Myth 2: Quitting is just a matter of willpower.

Fact: Because smoking is an addiction, quitting is often very difficult. A number of treatments are available that can help.

Myth 3: If you can’t quit the first time you try, you will never be able to quit.

Fact: Quitting is hard. Usually people make two or three tries, or more, before being able to quit for good.

Myth 4: The best way to quit is “cold turkey.”

Fact: The most effective way to quit smoking is by using a combination of counseling and nicotine replacement therapy (such as the nicotine patch, inhaler, gum, or nasal spray) or non-nicotine medicines (such as bupropion SR). Your health care provider or smoking cessation clinic is the best place to go to for help with quitting.

Myth 5: Quitting is expensive.

Fact: Treatments cost from $3 to $10 a day. A pack-a-day smoker spends almost $1,000 per year. Check with your health insurance plan to find out if smoking cessation medications and/or counseling are covered.

For More Information

To get a free copy of other consumer products on quitting smoking, call any of the following toll-free numbers:

You may get more online information at the Surgeon General’s Web site at www.surgeongeneral.gov/tobacco.

Public Health Service
Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention

Current as of March 2001


Internet Citation:

Five Common Myths About Quitting Smoking. March 2001. U.S. Public Health Service. http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/tobacco/5myths.htm


Return to Tobacco Cessation Guideline Index
Surgeon General Home Page
Department of Health and Human Services