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Smoking in Cancer Care (PDQ®)

Counseling to Help You Quit Smoking

Counseling may make it easier for you to quit smoking.

It is not easy to quit smoking and research has shown that people are more likely to quit if they have help. Mood changes are common in cancer patients and in people who smoke or are trying to quit smoking. Talk with your doctor if you have feelings of depression. Your doctor can offer counseling or other ways to help you quit smoking and treat depression when needed.

Not all smokers are motivated to quit. If you are not motivated to quit smoking, your doctor may be able to help you become motivated.

Your doctor or other health care professional may take the following steps to help you quit:

  • Ask you about your smoking habits at every visit.
  • Advise you to quit smoking.
  • Help you with a plan to quit smoking by:
    • Setting a date to quit smoking.
    • Giving you self-help materials.
    • Recommending drug treatment.
  • Plan follow-up visits with you.

It may take more than one try to quit smoking completely.

When you first quit smoking, it is common to start again. There will be many stressful times that will make you want to smoke. Counseling can help you find ways to handle the stress other than by smoking. It may take more than a year to quit smoking completely, even when you are motivated.

You can find help online.

The following websites may be helpful:

  • Updated: June 27, 2014