Immediately After Quitting
- Develop a clean, fresh, nonsmoking environment around yourself at
work and at home. Buy yourself flowersyou may be surprised how much
you can enjoy their scent now.
- The first few days after you quit, spend as much free time as possible
in places where smoking isn't allowed, such as libraries, museums, theaters,
department stores, and churches.
- Drink large quantities of water and fruit juice (but avoid sodas that
- Try to avoid alcohol, coffee, and other beverages that you associate
with cigarette smoking.
- Strike up conversation instead of a match for a cigarette.
- If you miss the sensation of having a cigarette in your hand, play
with something elsea pencil, a paper clip, a marble.
- If you miss having something in your mouth, try toothpicks or a fake
- Instead of smoking after meals, get up from the table and brush your
teeth or go for a walk.
- If you always smoke while driving, listen to a particularly interesting
radio program or your favorite music, or take public transportation for
a while, if you can.
- For the first 1-3 weeks, avoid situations you strongly associate with
the pleasurable aspects of smoking, such as watching your favorite TV program,
sitting in your favorite chair, or having a cocktail before dinner.
- Until you are confident of your ability to stay off cigarettes, limit
your socializing to healthful, outdoor activities or situations where smoking
is not allowed.
- If you must be in a situation where you'll be tempted to smoke (such
as a cocktail or dinner party), try to associate with the nonsmokers there.
- Try to analyze cigarette ads to understand how they attempt to "sell"
you on individual brands.
When You Get the Crazies
- Keep oral substitutes handytry carrots, pickles, sunflower seeds,
apples, celery, raisins, or sugarless gum instead of a cigarette.
- Take 10 deep breaths and hold the last one while lighting a match.
Exhale slowly and blow out the match. Pretend it's a cigarette and crush
it out in an ashtray.
- Take a shower or bath if possible.
- Learn to relax quickly and deeply. Make yourself limp, visualize a
soothing, pleasing situation, and get away from it all for a moment. Concentrate
on that peaceful image and nothing else.
- Light incense or a candle instead of a cigarette.
- Never allow yourself to think that "one won't hurt"it
Find New Habits
- Change your habits to make smoking difficult, impossible or unnecessary.
For example, it's hard to smoke while you're swimming, jogging, or playing
tennis or handball. When your desire for a cigarette is intense, wash your
hands or the dishes, or try new recipes.
- Do things that require you to use your hands. Try crossword puzzles,
needlework, gardening, or household chores. Go bike riding or take the dog
for a walk; give yourself a manicure; write letters.
- Enjoy having a clean mouth taste and maintain it by brushing your
teeth frequently and using a mouthwash.
- Stretch a lot.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Pay attention to your appearance. Look and feel sharp.
- Try to find time for the activities that are the most meaningful,
satisfying, and important to you.
About Gaining Weight
Many people who are considering quitting are very concerned about gaining
weight. If you are concerned about weight gain, keep these points in mind:
- Quitting doesn't mean you'll automatically gain weight. When people
gain it's because they often eat more once they quit.
- The benefits of giving up cigarettes far outweigh the drawbacks of
adding a few pounds. You'd have to gain a very large amount of weight to
offset the many substantial health benefits that a normal smoker gains by
quitting. Watch what you eat, and if you are concerned about gaining weight,
consider the tips that follow.
Tips to Help You Avoid Weight Gain
- Make sure you have a well balanced diet, with the proper amounts of
protein, carbohydrates and fat.
- Don't set a target date for a holiday, when the temptation of high
calorie food and drinks may be too hard to resist.
- Drink a glass of water before your meals.
- Weigh yourself weekly.
- Chew sugarless gum when you want sweet foods.
- Plan menus carefully, and count calories. Don't try to lose weightjust
try to maintain your pre-quitting weight.
- Have low calorie foods on hand for nibbling. Use the Snack Calorie
Chart to choose foods that are both nutritious and low in calories. Some
good choices are fresh fruits and vegetables, fruit and vegetable juices,
low-fat cottage cheese, and air-popped popcorn without butter.
- Take time for daily exercise, or join an organized exercise group.