Gather your supplies
Healthy snacks: help beat cravings, satisfy increased appetite and keep you distracted:
- Sunflower seeds
- Fresh veggies
- Unbuttered popcorn
- Herbal teas
- Cinnamon sticks (to keep your mouth busy)
Games and Gadgets: help keep your hands busy and mind distracted:
- Stress ball
- Rubik’s cube
- Games on phone
- Hobby supplies (knitting, painting)
Quitting aids: reduce withdrawal symptoms and double your chances of quit success.
If you’re going to use NRT (gum, patches, lozenges, inhaler), make sure you have it ready to go on quit day. Visit your local pharmacy and sign a declaration form to receive free NRT. Visit your doctor well before your quit date if taking prescription medicationsto ensure they have time to kick in.
Withdrawal is strongest during the first few days of your quit. The day will go by faster if you keep busy and hit the ground running:
- Get productive. Get your errands done, clean up the house or finish that job you’ve been avoiding.
- Get active. Go to the gym, go for a bike ride, a run, or do any activity you enjoy and that will get those endorphins going..
- Get social. Make plans with friends and family - go for a long walk, go see a movie, or take in some sights in beautiful BC.
Change up your routine
Shake up your daily routine to reduce the triggers to smoke. Each cigarette is connected to specific activities or events, and is intertwined with your routines so change up your daily habits.
- Instead of drinking coffee in the morning, try drinking tea or fresh orange juice, or drink coffee at a different time and place.
- Instead of driving to work, try taking the bus or catching a ride to work with someone who doesn’t smoke.
- Instead of taking coffee breaks with smoking buddies, fly solo for a while or hangout with some non-smoking friends.
- Instead of sitting around and smoking after a meal, get moving right away and tackle the dishes, go for a walk or brush your teeth.
Be on guard for risky situations
Alcohol & social gatherings: Alcohol is the single biggest reason that people have slips or go back to regular smoking.
- Avoid alcohol for the first few weeks of your quit. It will be easiest to simply cut out booze for the first couple of weeks until the withdrawal has passed and you are in control.
- If you decide to drink alcohol, try cutting down, or switching up your drinks. Consider alternating alcohol with a non-alcoholic drink.
- Plan an exit strategy. When drinking or attending big social events, be ready to leave if you’re feeling under stress or ready to crave.
Stress: Finding new, healthy ways of coping with stress is important for maintaining a long-term quit.
- Exercising. A few push ups or a quick run are great ways to burn off steam.
- Getting more sleep. Stress is always easier to deal with after a good night’s sleep.
- Taking yoga or meditation classes. A regular routine of guided relaxation will help keep stress at bay.
- Breathing deeply. A minute of deep breathing can do wonders to reduce stress and improve your mood.
Being around other smokers: Can be a major trigger for craving a smoke and is a common reason for slips.
- If at all possible, avoid people who smoke. This is especially important at the beginning of your quit when you are still experiencing strong withdrawal and cravings.
- Ask your friends to support your quit. If you have friends who smoke ask them not to offer you a cigarette, even if you ask for one. And ask that they don’t smoke around you.
- Take nicotine gum, inhaler or mist to an event where you know there will be other smokers. This will help reduce the cravings.
- Ask for backup from a buddy. If you know you’ll be socializing with friends who smoke, enlist the help of a friend who doesn’t smoke to ensure you don’t cave to a craving.