It is hard to quit when everything you do reminds you of cigarettes.
Here are some healthy lifestyle choices to try that will make your quitting easier:
- Change your habits to make smoking difficult, impossible or unnecessary. Try activities such as walking, jogging, swimming, tennis, biking, skiing or skating (whatever the season allows).
- Maintain a clean taste in your mouth by brushing your teeth frequently, using a mouthwash, or chewing a sugar-free candy or mint.
- Drink large quantities of water and fruit juices. Try to avoid alcohol, coffee and other beverages that you associate with cigarette smoking.
- Keep your mouth busy by having substitutes handy such as carrots, dill pickles, sunflower seeds, apples, celery or sugar-free gum. You could try a toothpick or a straw.
- Temporarily avoid situations you strongly associate with the pleasurable aspects of smoking, such as watching your favourite TV program or having a drink before or after dinner.
- Keep your hands busy. Do crossword, puzzles, needlework, woodwork, yardwork or household chores. Substitute having a cigarette in your hand with something else such as a pencil, a paper clip or a marble.
- Keep yourself busy with activities that are meaningful, satisfying and important to YOU.
- Strike up a conversation with someone instead of striking a match for a cigarette.
- Get up from the table after meals and reach for your walking shoes instead of reaching for a cigarette.
- Get plenty of rest. Don’t let yourself get tired and irritable.
- Keep active. Join a team or club, stretch a lot, exercise more, try a new activity.
- Spend time in places where smoking is prohibited, such as theatres, department stores, a fitness club, an indoor sporting event (as spectator or player), libraries, museums, churches, etc.
- Reward yourself. You deserve to be rewarded for quitting smoking. Try such things as: sleep an extra 30 minutes one morning; buy new clothes; go out to dinner; lunch or a movie; buy that new bike you’ve been wanting or anything that is rewarding to you (that you can now afford because of the money you’re not spending on cigarettes).
- Develop a clean, fresh non-smoking environment around yourself, both at work and at home.
- Limit your socializing until you’re confident of your ability to stay off cigarettes.
- Stick to healthy outdoor activities or situations where smoking is prohibited.
A number of individuals and organizations are willing to help you try to kick the habit through the use of courses, self-help materials, and support groups. While there is a charge for some of these programs or materials, remember, they only represent a few days’ supply of cigarettes.