Skip to navigation Skip to Content


Search Marshfield Clinic Health System
Join a world-class health system. Find jobs

Ask the Expert: Quit smoking

Katherine P. Patterson, M.D.
Katherine P. Patterson, M.D.
Family medicine
Sees patients at Marshfield Clinic locations in Wausau.
Question: Do you have any tips to quit smoking?​

Make an appointment with your doctor. He or she will be more than happy to assist and can recommend medications to help you quit.

Or call the Wisconsin Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) and speak with a Quit Line coach who will help develop a plan that's right for you.

I encourage my patients who want to quit to write on a “pros and cons” card that will fit right in their cigarette pack.

On one side, write all the good things you can think of about being a nonsmoker.

On the other side, write all the bad things you can think of about being a smoker.

Use things that are real and important to you.

Then every time you go for a cigarette, look at each list.

In this way, you can gradually reprogram yourself from thinking about how much you enjoy smoking.

Try to get yourself down to the five or 10 cigarettes you “must have” in a day.

Then think about what you could do instead of smoking.

If you’re taking a break, remind yourself that it does not have to include a cigarette.

Keep telling yourself that, whether you are at work or home.

Remember that the more times you TRY to quit, the more likely you eventually WILL quit.

What you really have to do is reprogram your way of thinking about cigarettes​.

Marshfield Clinic provides family ​medicine​ in a number of our centers. Your primary care doctor can refer you to the appropriate specialty and location.