How to make a smoking quit list

Jed Campbell-Williams
Workplace Health Operations Manager at Bupa UK
09 March 2022
Next review due March 2025

Quitting smoking can be tricky. You may be worried about managing cravings or having relapses. But finding your reasons for quitting may help. Here I explore how you can make your own smoking quit list, to help you focus on all you have to gain from stopping smoking.

two people making notes

What is a smoking quit list?

A quit list is a list of reasons why you want to stop smoking. It is very personal to you. It may include many reasons or just one or two. But the more you can think of, the better. This will act as a helpful reminder of all the ways stopping smoking could improve your life.

How can a quit list help me stop smoking?

Quitting smoking takes effort and support. But a useful way of keeping yourself on track is to think about how you might benefit from not smoking anymore. Write down these reasons so you can refer to them when you need to. It may help you to look at your quit list when you’re getting cravings, or when you’re feeling stressed and want to smoke.

A quit list can be part of your ‘stop smoking’ toolkit. Along with support from your local stop smoking service, and nicotine replacement medications if you need them.

What should I include on my quit list?

You can choose what to include on your list. You might have lots of ideas already. Or you might need some inspiration. It can be useful to think about all of the different areas of your life which could improve if you don’t smoke. Such as your finances or your health.

Here are some benefits you could add to your own list:

Physical health benefits

Stopping smoking can improve your health in many ways. Here are some benefits you might like to include on your list.

  • It may increase your life expectancy between 3-10 years.
  • It reduces your risk of heart disease and lung cancer.
  • It reduces your heart rate and improves breathing (reduced wheezing and coughing.
  • Over time your skin health can improve. This includes having reduced wrinkles and a brighter complexion.

You could focus on the health benefits which most appeal to you. Is breathing easier important to you, as it would help you to play a sport you love? Or would better skin health give you more confidence socially? The key is to decide what really matters to you.

Mental health benefits

Stopping smoking doesn’t just improve your physical health. It can boost your mental wellbeing too. This might be something you want to include on your quit list. A review of several different studies found that stopping smoking reduces anxiety and depression.

There is also some evidence to show that stopping smoking can make you feel more positive in your day-to-day life. Just remember that if you turned to smoking to help you with stress you might need to think of other ways to cope. You might like to jot a few ideas down as part of your list. You could:

Financial benefits

The money you can save from not smoking can really add up. Some studies have shown that focusing on the financial gains of quitting can be very useful in helping you to stop. Even more so than if you just think about the health benefits.

If you smoke 10 cigarettes per day, you could save up to £24.50 a week, which makes £98 a month, or £1176 per year. To calculate how much money you could save from smoking you can use a free online calculator.

With the money you save you could:

  • take a holiday with friends or family
  • treat yourself to a couple of weekends away
  • enjoy several spa days or massages
  • go clothes shopping
  • buy a new TV or phone
  • make a donation to your favourite charity
  • pay off any debts if you have them

How to make your quit list

Why not make your list with pen and paper? You can create your own categories for reasons to quit. Or try our template below (Click on the quit list image below to download a larger version of the file (JPEG, 0.4 MB)). You can always add more ideas to your list over time. You could even add photos or images to inspire you. For example, a holiday destination you would like to go to with the money you’ll save.

Bupa's stopping smoking list


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Jed Campbell-Williams
Jed Campbell-Williams (he/him)
Workplace Health Operations Manager at Bupa UK

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