Top 10 Tips and Tricks for Quitting Smoking

Quitting smoking is a challenging process. Here are techniques you can implement to lay the foundation for success in quitting.

10. Clean Your Home

As soon as you’ve quit smoking, take the time to freshen up your home. Wash your clothes, steam the furniture and clean the carpet. The smell of tobacco smoke, even when stale, can be a trigger for your cravings, so ensuring that you won’t be smelling it all the time increases your chances of success. A more pleasant environment will also make it easier for you to deal with withdrawal.

9. Throw Away Your Smoking Paraphernalia

Keeping all your old ashtrays and lighters around can mean that you’re not truly committed to the idea of quitting. It may be a hard thing to do, but eliminating those items will make you think of cigarettes less, and might even reduce your cravings.

8. Start Exercising Regularly

Try taking up healthy exercise like running or cycling. Vigorous exercise can provide a dopamine release that can replace the one you used to get from cigarettes. Staying active will also speed up your body’s self-repair process. Your health will improve faster and you will be able to see your progress over time. Focusing on an intensive exercise program will leave less time for you to think about cigarettes. It will also make you less likely to go back to smoking, since you won’t want to lose what you have already accomplished.

7. Take Up a New Hobby

Consider finding yourself a new and interesting hobby such as painting, pottery or creative writing to take your mind off smoking. Use your newly-found interest to occupy your mind and body to help you deal with cravings. Cooking is a good example of a hobby that utilizes your newly-improved senses of smell and taste. Discover how much better everything tastes now that you’re not smoking.

6. Find Your Go-To Healthy Snack

When you quit smoking, your appetite increases. Find a healthy snack you enjoy, like baby carrots or celery sticks, and carry it around with you at all times. When a craving strikes, put the carrot or celery in your mouth and slowly nibble on it. It will help occupy your hands and mouth, and the familiar movement will make it easier to relax and gather yourself.

5. Get a Stress Ball

When trying to quit, it’s important to find new ways to relax and calm yourself down without nicotine — as well as keep your hands busy. Buying a stress relief ball, silly putty or another simple toy can go a long way towards developing new healthy habits for dealing with stress.

4. Reduce Your Caffeine Intake

Nicotine suppresses the effects of caffeine, so after you quit, coffee will have a stronger effect on you. Try cutting back your caffeine intake. Coffee is a stimulant; it increases your heart rate and makes dealing with stress more difficult. It might also be responsible for at least some of your insomnia, so cutting back on it can help you sleep better. You’ll have more energy in the long run.

3. Meditate

Meditation might sound exotic, but it’s a fantastic way to handle some of the psychological aspects of nicotine withdrawal. Meditation is a form of deep breathing and relaxation. Participants often envision certain thoughts or pictures, repeat specific mantras, or simply focus on deep breathing.  Some simple meditation techniques can help you become more aware of your thoughts, actions and feelings, thereby helping you to better understand what’s triggering your cravings. Once you know your triggers, you can learn to avoid them.

2. Drink Plenty of Water

Water will speed up the nicotine detox. Water can also help ease your cough by making it easier for your lungs to clear out mucus, and it’s a good way to combat your increased appetite without changing your eating habits too much.

1. Take Deep Breaths

Whenever you feel a craving, take a deep breath in and slowly let it out. Stress is one of the strongest triggers for nicotine cravings, and this simple exercise will help you relax and calm down. The extra oxygen can help with your headaches and the feelings of dizziness and lightheadedness. If you’ve been smoking for a long time, it’s possible that you still have residual nicotine in your lungs. Breathing deeply can help take the edge off a craving by releasing some of that nicotine into your bloodstream.

Everybody’s experience with quitting smoking is different, so some these tips may or may not work for you. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find your own tricks for making quitting easier.

Check out more of our great articles:

• How to Inspire a Smoker to Quit

• The Real Cost of Smoking

• Secondhand Smoke: Think Twice

• Support Your Quitter