Nicotine & Tobacco Action Plan

This is your action plan from ACT. Refer to this any time you need a willpower boost or a refresher!



What can you commit to today?

  • Setting a quit date
  • Cutting down the amount you use each day so that you are using half your normal amount each day by a set date.
  • Cutting down the number of days you use each week so that you are using half your normal days each week by a set date.

Whether you write it down or keep it in your head, setting a goal is the first step in keeping yourself on track.



Drained of willpower? Here are some reasons for committing to quitting or reducing your use:

  • You want to save money.
  • You want to be healthier.
  • You don’t want your family to find out that you’re using nicotine products.
  • Your friend or person you are dating wants you to quit.
  • You would like to be a good role model to others.
  • Nicotine use makes it harder to do things you care about (like playing sports or singing).
  • You want to feel in control of yourself.

Most teens and young adults say they want to be healthier and save money.

Keeping on TRACK


Feeling tempted? Remember some of the things that can help keep you on track:

  • Talking to someone
  • Telling people that you’re trying to quit
  • Asking people not to use nicotine around you
  • Quitting with someone else
  • Spending time with people who don’t use nicotine
  • Working out
  • Keeping busy
  • Getting help with stress, anger, or sadness
  • Using nicotine replacement (like the patch or gum)
  • Quitting all at once

Here are some things other teens and young adults say can help:

  • Chew gum
  • Watch a movie, TV show or funny YouTube video
  • Call a friend
  • Cook dinner or bake

Planning AHEAD


Planning ahead will help you deal with times and situations that you are most likely to use. Here are some ideas for when you are in these situations:

Rally your support team:

  • If you’d like to cut back or stop using completely, tell a friend you trust that can support your decision—especially when you’re in a tempting situation.
  • Discuss your decision to cut back or quit with the family members you vape or smoke near. Let them know why it’s important to you and ask them to support your decision.

At school or work:

  • When you’re at school, take a different route home or stay at school during lunch or a free period to avoid temptation.
  • Try studying or doing homework in a different setting where you can’t smoke or vape, like the library or a friend’s place.
  • Find new ways to relax on a break from work—take a walk, listen to music, or talk to co-workers.

At home:

  • When you’re at home, choose something else you like to do—maybe cooking, playing a video game, or working on a hobby.
  • If you are feeling down or stressed do something that makes you happy—maybe watching a funny YouTube video or taking a walk.
  • If you’re bored, learn something new! Or set a timer for 10 minutes and try to do something you’ve been putting off.
  • If you’re tempted in the car, try turning up some music or chewing gum to keep your mouth busy.

Battling cravings & withdrawal effects:

  • Most cravings only last 5-10 minutes. Do something to distract yourself—watching a TV show or reading an article—and they should start to subside.
  • Staying alert and awake can be tough. Try taking a power nap—just 20 to 30 minutes—can help you get a second wind, or take an energizing walk.
  • Concentrating can be difficult even on the best days. Make sure you get enough rest and keep yourself fueled with healthy food to up your ability to focus.
  • There are lots of ways to help control your appetite, like drinking a big glass of water, eating an apple, or chewing some gum.



We know you have some concerns about quitting.
Thinking of healthier alternatives can help a lot when you decide to quit. Here are some common challenges and ideas to help you overcome them:

It can be tough to be around people who are doing something you’re trying to quit. Often, the best method is honesty. Tell your friends or family members you’re trying to quit and ask them for their support. Be open about what would help you the most (like, “It’s okay if you smoke, but please don’t do it around me.”) And who knows, maybe one or two of your friends will even want to join you in quitting.

It can be tough to stay strong under pressure. Try being open about your choice to cut back or quit. Your friends might surprise you by being supportive and supporting your decision.

Making choices that you believe in (like cutting down or quitting) builds character. But it isn’t always easy—especially if it makes you feel different. Try to find a friend you can trust and who will stick by you, and get their support for your decision.

A lot of people worry they will gain weight when they quit. Focus on replacing nicotine with calorie-free choices, like chewing gum, taking a walk, or listening to music. For the first few weeks, pay special attention to make sure you’re eating healthy, sleeping enough, and exercising.

Feeling bad is never fun and quitting can sometimes amplify those feelings, if you’ve been relying on nicotine as a coping mechanism. Instead, think of times or things that make you feel happy and relaxed—like going to a movie, hanging out with friends, or going for a run. Make sure to schedule a few extra “fun” things in for the first few weeks to get you over the rough patch.

Staying alert and awake can be tough, especially if you were relying on nicotine to help. When you’re quitting, try taking a power nap—just 20 to 30 minutes—can help you get a second wind, or take an energizing walk. Focus on getting enough sleep at night, at least for the first week or two after quitting.

Withdrawal symptoms sometimes happen. You might feel irritable or anxious, have trouble sleeping, or have difficulty concentrating. Fortunately, they usually only last for a few days. If your symptoms are manageable, focus on getting extra support the first few days to get you through the rough patch. If your symptoms are worse, consider using a quit aid (like nicotine gum or a patch) to help you.

We know you may not have concerns about quitting. Planning ahead and thinking of healthier alternatives can help a lot when you decide to quit. Finding someone to support you is a good place to start.

Just for YOU


For more information, here are some great resources:

  • Smokefree Teen: get help to stop using tobacco with free tools, including text messaging support, live chat and a quitSTART app with helpful strategies for tackling cravings, bad moods and other situations where you may want to smoke.
  • Truth – Facts on Vaping: Quick facts, videos, articles and activities on nicotine and tobacco use.
  • NIDA for Teens: National Institute on Drug Abuse information on tobacco, nicotine and vaping (e-cigarettes).
  • My Life/My Quit: My Life, My Quit™ is the free and confidential way to quit smoking or vaping. Text “Start My Quit” to 855.891.9989 or visit their website to chat with a Coach.
  • Truth Initiative: additional tools and support for quitting smoking and vaping, including BecomeAnEX® a free, digital quit-smoking plan and online community of thousands of smokers and ex-smokers developed by Truth Initiative in collaboration with Mayo Clinic.