Quit Smoking

Live Healthy! If you smoke or vape, quitting smoking is one of the most important thing you can do for your health. We’ve created a PSA to encourage you or someone you love along a path to greater wellness. You’ll meet Deb O’Keefe, who once rode horses and smoked like a Marlborough Man. She believed in you enough to record the simple message on quitting smoking... You. Can. Quit.

There are many possible good reasons: influencing others, feeling better or sticking around for someone you love. Here’s an approach following the Seven Pillars that we use ourselves when working to bring about positive changes we care about: follow your vision using your special skills, filling a chasm, working in partnership, sharing the credit, gathering feedback and staying the course.


What do you see as your most important reason to quit? It’s YOUR vision, so write it down, tape it to your mirror, and frame it and bring it to work, such as: I Quit Smoking/Vaping Because _______________.

Special Skills

Use them all. Planning your quit date and strategies for success. Gathering a support group. Designing your space to have a look of a non-smoker. Motivating yourself with affirmations such as: I am strong. I can’t stand smoking. So glad I quit!


When you quit, what healthy alternatives will you use to fill the gap that smoking or vaping once did? What rituals will you invent to take the place of your smoke/vape moments? Studies show that you may be hungrier than normal for a while also, so keeping gum and healthy snacks around might help. Be creative. You can even try health-promoting activities, such as tai-chi or yoga, to fill the void.


Who will you enlist to help you succeed? Your doctor? Your friends? Is there a support group you can join? Maybe step away from some “partners in smoking” if they’re not also trying to quit. Web pages, too, can be your partners.

Credit Sharing

After you’ve made it, show your appreciation for those who helped. If there were relapses along the road, those you applauded along the way were probably more likely to keep cheering you forward during those times, also.


Measure the health benefits. Start by having a look at how much cigarettes are costing daily, (if you smoke 1 pack a day at $7, that’s $2,352 per year, $23,520 in ten years). Here’s the math: Anyone who smokes 1/4 pack a day is considered addicted to cigarettes. What would that exact dollar amount buy you, if you had it in your pocket right now? That’s one good (and easy) way to measure the power of quitting smoking, without ever even touching the effect cigarettes have on your body. Speaking of measurements… quitting helps immediately, lowering blood pressure and pulse in only 20 minutes, and returning bloodstream carbon monoxide levels to normal within a day. In 3 months, the risk of heart attack falls, and lungs function better. Long term, you lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Lots of priceless benefits from quitting. You quit, you save!

Staying Power

... to stay the course, you’ll need to get through the hurdle, and then get into a new groove. this includes: taking special care during the first critical 24-hour period; avoiding triggers such as the bar scene; gentle self-care, such as changes towards healthy food choices and gentle exercise; and never giving up. It took time for your body to learn smoking and it’ll take time to unlearn. For years, WebMD offered this positive spin on a relapse: next time you’ll do better: the odds are increasingly in your favor the more attempts you make to quit.

A little help from our friends...

The You. Can. Quit. public service announcement was produced with input from UCSF’s Springer Laboratory. We’d love to hear feedback on how this page has helped and how we can make it better. You rule, cigs drool! Get more tips for quitting at www.smokefree.gov.