If you want to quit smoking, you can make small changes in your lifestyle, which can help you resist the temptation to light.

Think positive

You may have tried to quit smoking before, but you can’t, so don’t let that delay you.

Go back to what your experience has taught you and think about how you can really do it this time.

Make a plan to quit smoking

Make a promise, set a date, and keep it. Sticking to the “don’t drag” rule can really help.

Whenever you have a problem, tell yourself, “I won’t have a single penny,” and stay with it until the desires pass.

Think ahead about difficult times (such as a party) and plan your actions and runways in advance.

Review your diet

What is your favorite cigarette after dinner? A study in the United States found that certain foods, including meat, make smoking more satisfying.

Others, including cheese, fruits and vegetables, make the taste of cigarettes terrible. So replace your regular steak or burger with a vegetarian pizza.

You may also want to change your diet at or after meals. Getting up immediately to do the dishes or stay in a non-smoking room can help.

Change your drink

The same U.S. study looked at drinks as above. Carbonated drinks, alcohol, cola, tea and coffee improve the taste of cigarettes.

So for more water and juice when you are outside. Some people find that simply changing their drink (such as switching from wine to vodka and tomato juice) affects their need to quit smoking.

Determine when you need a cigarette

The request can last up to 5 minutes. Make a list of 5-minute strategies before giving up.

For example, you can leave the party for a minute, dance or go to the bar.

And think about it: the combination of smoking and drinking increases your risk of oral cancer by 38 times.

Get some support to stop smoking

If friends or family members also want to give up, ask them to give up together.

There is also support from your local smoking cessation service. Did you know that with the help and advice of experts, your chances of success are up to 4 times?

You can also call the NHS Smokefree helpline at 0300 123 1044, open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Take action

Scientific studies have shown that exercise, even a 5-minute walk or stretch, reduces cravings and can help your brain produce anti-arousal chemicals.

Make non-smoking friends

Stay with non-smokers when you are at a party.

Louise, a 52-year-old former smoker, says: “Don’t be jealous of smokers.”

“Think what they’re doing is a little weird – burn a small white pipe and breathe in the smoke.”

Keep your hands and mouth busy

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) can double your chances of success.

In addition to patches, there are tablets, lozenges, chewing gum and nasal spray. If you like to smoke, there are hand products such as inhalers or e-cigarettes.

When you’re out, try to put your drink in your hand, which is usually a cigarette, or try to drink it with a straw to keep your mouth busy.

Make a list of reasons for quitting

Keep reminding yourself why you decided to give up. Make a list of reasons and read it when you need support.

Chris, a 28-year-old former smoker, says: “I used to take pictures of my baby girl when I went out. If I was tested, I would look at it.”

Read more about smoking cessation treatments available in the NHS.

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This page was last modified on 25 October 2018
Date of next review: October 25, 2021