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30 Actionable Tips You Can Do to be Smoke Free
Being smoke free, it’s always easier said than done.
While some find success in quitting cold turkey, others find it hard to just drop the habit.
It’s true, different individuals have different reactions when quitting.
Everyone faces a different battle.
Whether you have a strong dependency in cigarettes or simply an occasional smoker wanting to break free, we’ve got some of the most effective tips you can use to help you quit – right now.
Table of Contents
Devise a Viable Strategy
- Create a Plan.
- Quit on a Monday.
- Clean Your Home and Clothes to Avoid Triggers.
- Save Your Budget by Quitting.
- Find A Hobby.
- Find A Sport.
- Cut Down on Coffee.
- Eat Healthy.
- Stay Hydrated.
- Be Health Conscious.
- Be Hygiene Conscious.
- Learn About Cigarettes.
- Watch Anti-Smoking Ads.
- Watch Inspiring Stories.
- Prepare Yourself Mentally.
- Learn How You Can Handle Withdrawal Symptoms.
- Plan Your Future.
- Have A Solid Reason.
- Appreciate the Beauty of Nature.
- Have a Reward to Look Forward to.
- Understand How Your Brain Reacts to Nicotine.
Devise A Viable Strategy
Quitting isn't exactly a walk in the park.
There’s more to abstinence than meets the eye.
It requires dedication and commitment.
A practical strategy will be like having a compass at sea.
Here’s how you start...
1. Create a Plan
It’s true that other smokers have found success in abrupt cessation.
However, studies show that those who quit cold turkey have higher chances of relapse than those who quit gradually.
Enter the art of weaning.
Weaning only means that you attune your mind and your body to the progressive loss of nicotine...
As well as the continuous loss of the sensation of breathing smoke.
Commonly known as the “cut down” method, weaning involves cutting down the number of cigarettes you consume daily – till of course, you reach your target.
Remember, this is a preparation you should make before your actual quit date.
Here’s what you need to do.
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Now let’s begin.
- Grab a pen and a paper.
- Count the number of cigarettes you consume per day. Write them down.
- Select the number of cigarettes you will deduct from your daily or weekly consumption based on your observation. Write them down.
- Start with a two-week program. Make a tally of how much you want to cut back.
- Study your game plan and remember, it’s not a race.
You also might want to list down your triggers.
Triggers are what stimulates you to start smoking.
Here is a list of some of the most common smoking triggers.
In order to fight the urge to smoke when sensing these triggers, you can substitute it with something else.
This may include gums, candies, pastries, or anything that can give you same rewarding sensation as taking in a whiff of nicotine.
And also, to keep you going, don’t forget to reward yourself.
When cutting down on cigarettes, always remind yourself that progress is what’s important.
You don’t have to rush it.
Achieving your goals is what matters.
Do this before your actual quit date.
It’s best to start small, that’s why we strongly suggest to use a two-week program and work your way to a 30-day plan before quitting.
Not only will a 2-week plan give you enough time to quit but in the span of 2 weeks, physical withdrawal symptoms will start to wane.
This makes eing smoke free more bearable and manageable.
Take your time and select a workable plan before your quit day.
By the time you finish your weaning program you’d have less cravings which will make quitting easier.
2. Quit on a Monday
A recent study showed that the most common Google searches to quit smoking was done on a Monday.
A lot of smokers select different dates to quit.
New years’ day is a common date, birthdates, and even anniversaries.
However, should they encounter a relapse (which isn’t uncommon), they’d have to wait another year to get back on track.
Committing to quitting on a Monday gives you 52 more opportunities a year.
It also gives you a chance to re-commit should you experience a setback.
Here are a few more reasons why Mondays make the best quit days.
Mondays are all about new beginnings, a fresh new start.
It isn’t technically the first day of the week, but Mondays give you a good head start on the week ahead.
Select the number of cigarettes you will deduct from your daily or weekly consumption based on your observation. Write them down.
Start with a two-week program. Make a tally of how much you want to cut back.
Study your game plan and remember, it’s not a race.
You’re well rested, you have a clear head, and you’re basically fresh off the weekend.
You’re at your best in making the decision to re-commit to quit.
Speaking of weekends...
Mondays are the best days to plan your week ahead.
While the weekends offer enough time for planning, you simply don’t want to waste your weekends planning the week ahead.
It’s common for individuals to slack off during the weekends.
I mean why not?
That’s why if you’re looking for the perfect day to make up for a relapse, Monday is the ideal day.
It’s the perfect day to make your week right.
It offers progress checkpoints.
Ever played video games?
While boss fights are both rewarding and challenging, most video game developers offer checkpoints before putting you in such a critical conundrum.
Mondays are like check points.
They let you reflect on your progress and allow you to push harder the week ahead.
Yes, you may encounter setbacks but Mondays give you a reflective pause.
Continue with your quit plan and reflect on the progress you’ve made during your weaning.
So, if you’re quitting, it’s best to schedule it on a Monday rather than any day of the week.
You can go over your calendar and encircle every Monday you’d find.
This way, you’d have a visual representation of the day you’ve decided to quit.
3. Clean Your Home and Clothes to Avoid Triggers
After you’ve finished weaning and started on your quit day, it’s now time to start decluttering.
Cleaning both your home and washing your clothes right after you’ve decided to quit will prove to be beneficial to you and to those around you.
Here are a few reasons why.
It acts as triggers.
Just the smell of cigarette smoke is powerful enough to trigger your urge to light up another one.
A whiff of cigarette smoke works its magic in as fast as 7 to 10 seconds.
Not only does the stale smell of cigarette smoke reminds you of the sensation of smoking but it also induces the same chemical reaction your brain is used to when inhaling cigarette smoke.
That's third-hand smoking for all you folks.
It helps keep you occupied.
Remember when we said that at 2 weeks, physical withdrawal symptoms will start to wane?
You’ll be needing physical activities to help keep yourself distracted from thinking about lighting up another cigarette.
Cleaning your home consistently will not only rid your house of third-hand smoking triggers.
It will also provide you with enough physical activity.
It avoids the dangers of third-hand smoking.
Now that you’ve decided to quit smoking, why not help out your friends and families avoid the dangers of third-hand smoke?
This residue has the potential to remain on fabric, draperies, upholsteries, as well as on your carpet.
What’s worse is that it can be reactive to other indoor pollutants.
Together, they can create a toxic by-product as deadly as first-hand smoking.
Ultimately, cleaning your home and your clothes will increase your chances of success.
It will significantly decrease the difficulty of quitting.
It will also make coping up with withdrawal more bearable.
You might also want to throw away any smoking paraphernalia you have.
High-end lighters and expensive cigarette cases must go.
Anything that reminds you of smoking.
Always remind yourself that the more you resist these triggers, the more it loses power over you.
4. Save Your Budget by Quitting
Based on a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a pack of cigarette smoke costs a little over $6.00.
If you consume a pack of cigarettes a day, you’re basically spending over $180.00 per month.
That’s close to $2,290.00 a year.
Now that’s a lot.
For us to have a logical comparison, let’s look at another exorbitant fixation.
Research shows how drinking can be an expensive habit.
Roughly 1 percent of the average earning of a household.
That accounts to about $565.00 annually.
This means that smoking is four times more expensive than drinking.
Smoking affects your financial health more than you expect.
Here are some examples.
Higher life insurance premiums.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a healthcare law that saw fruition during Barack Obama’s term.
Colloquially known as Obama Care, the ACA permits insurance companies to bill smokers up to 50 percent higher than the average insurance costs.
That’s because smoking has been known to cause a myriad of serious health issues.
You'd understand why health insurance companies ask more from smokers.
Smokers are more susceptible to serious illnesses and will have the likelihood of increased mortality rates.
More sick days.
A previous study conducted by the University of Nottingham shows that smokers have a 33 percent more likelihood of missing work than non-smokers.
On another recent study, smokers show an average of 7 to 8 days and sick leaves annually than those who don’t smoke.
You might think that paid leaves will be alright, but these lost hours become an actual economic burden.
Moreover, those that are on a no work no pay policy will have to bear the burden themselves.
When you smoke, you’re actually financing a habit that harms your future instead of funding something that builds it.
Say you’re done with weaning, you’ve followed your game plan, and considered the costs you’d save after quitting...
Time for a follow through.
If exercising can do wonders for non-smokers, it does even better to smokers.
By keeping yourself active, you’d be able to curb your urges and keep yourself fit at the same time.
Here’s why exercising is good for those who are trying to quit.
Keeps you busy.
Like how cleaning keeps you occupied, having an active training schedule will keep your mind off of smoking.
The more time you spend in the gym, the less likely you’re going to go back smoking.
Losing all your gains simply isn’t good enough.
Gives the same sensation as smoking.
When you exercise, your brain releases the same chemical compounds as when you’re smoking.
Serotonin and dopamine are excreted when you exercise.
So, the more you exercise, the more you get to experience the same sensation as to when your brain absorbs nicotine.
It speeds up your body’s restorative process.
Do moderate to light exercises.
When you exercise, your body responds by increasing the delivery of oxygen and carbon dioxide.
It helps speed up ling recovery as well as repair of other bodily parts and function - especially your lungs.
That’s right, your body has better odds of recovery when you exercise.
Light exercises can also stimulate the proper blood flow giving providing you with reduced muscle pain.
What to do?
Where to start?
Here are some basic exercises you can do to help you cope up with being smoke free.
Yoga is best for active body recovery.
Doing Yoga will allow your body to move in safe muscular positions.
Yoga poses allow for maximum flexibility while promoting better oxygen and blood flow.
Proper blood flow helps repair broken down muscle tissues while proper breathing techniques promote lung health.
Not only will it be good for you physically, but it will also be good for you mentally.
It's one of the most favored active recovery exercises by those who quit since it also allows them to meditate.
Tai-Chi is more than just old folks swinging their arms over at the park.
No, Tai-Chi is actually a low-impact form of martial arts.
Like Yoga, Tai-Chi is a combination of meditative and active movements which makes it an ideal active recovery exercise.
A study on patients with arthritis showed that a 12-week program on a Tai-Chi class helped reduced the discomforts amongst the patients.
The movements allow for your subtle aerobic actions that help stretch the muscles and stimulate blood flow.
Tai-Chi classes will prove to be beneficial in your routine to help you quit smoking.
Another low-impact exercise is swimming.
To make things clear, the swimming we’re referring to isn't the kind where you swim against the clock.
It’s the kind where you relax, and stretch out your muscles in ways you simply can’t do while on land.
Swimming also involves breathing techniques which will promote better oxygen and blood flow.
You can enroll in gyms or any local classes that offer any of these exercises.
If you want, you can simply watch instructional videos and do these exercises at the comfort of your own home.
There’s a reason why meditation has been practiced by individuals who claim to achieve a higher state of mind.
Meditation allows for reflection, self-control, and emotional-calm amongst its many benefits.
When quitting smoking, meditation can also be helpful in controlling and managing your urges.
Although some find it unconventional, others find success in meditation.
You don’t have to live in mountain temples or in rock gardens to meditate.
Here are some easy steps you can follow to start your meditation to quit smoking.
Find a quiet spot.
The key to a successful meditation is finding a quiet place to meditate.
Since meditation is all about peace and tranquility, finding a secluded place is important.
Seclusion doesn’t have to be expensive.
You can find a peaceful place in your room, your living area, or even at your patio.
Anywhere you can experience comfort and serenity.
Lie down or sit in comfort.
Once you’ve found your place, find a comfortable position.
You can either be sitting or you can lie down.
You can use a Yoga mat, or a bean bag.
Close your eyes and find inner peace.
Once you’ve settled, you can start your meditation by closing your eyes.
Do not control your breathing – it's meditation not exercise.
Let your body’s natural flow take its course.
Allow your mind to wander.
Observe how your body follows your breathing.
If you feel like sleeping, find something to focus on.
Meditation relieves stress, which is a leading smoking trigger.
By relieving stress, meditation can significantly address one of the strongest urges to smoke.
Meditation also instills mindfulness and self-awareness.
This gives you the added self-control instead of going on auto-pilot.
If you’d notice most smokers instinctively reach out for a pack of cigarettes whenever they experience any of their triggers.
When you practice meditation, you’re also practicing a heightened awareness that would help you with your decision to quit.
7. Find A Hobby
Still thinking about smoking?
One way to keep your mind off smoking is to find a new hobby.
And maybe, get rid of a few ones that involve or remind you of smoking.
Here are a few things to consider when looking for a new hobby.
- Physical Limitation
When seeking out a new hobby, the first things smokers consider is the cost.
We’ve established that smoking is an expensive habit, you don’t want to be spending too much money on an unjustified hobby.
Try out small ones first but make sure that the hobby piques your interest.
Gardening is a cheap hobby.
Tending to flowering plants like orchids can be as cheap but as rewarding.
Bonsai is also a fairly cheap alternative.
Surrounding yourself with plants can be beneficial and can prove to be good for your meditation.
Some try knitting, while others try origami.
These are all cheap hobbies you can take up to keep your mind off smoking.
Productivity can also be a factor.
Some individuals who take up a hobby want to do something productive on their free time.
One new hobby to consider is cooking.
One thing to remember is that by the time you stopped smoking your body starts to rehabilitate itself.
One of the first few changes you'll notice is improved smell and taste.
Why not put hat to good use?
Discover new tastes and savor the delicious meals you can cook.
Others are concerned about their physical limitations.
Smokers who are limited by other medical conditions like arthritis may find it hard to take up knitting or origami.
In this case, you’d want to look for a hobby that requires less physical activity.
Tabletop games like Chess, and other Trading Card Games (TCG) would be perfect.
You might also want to try Dungeons and Dragons (DND) or other games that does not require you to move around a lot.
Cross word puzzles and Sudokus are also productive hobbies that require fewer physical movements.
Reading is also a good hobby.
Finally, you don’t want to skip on the fun factor.
Fun is what keeps your mind off smoking.
You can try playing video games.
Especially that Electronic Entertainment Expo 2019 or E3 2019 is just around the corner, there’s a lot of new games about to come up that’s sure to spark your gaming fire.
There’s a lot of games you can choose from, from action genres to psychological horrors, the possibilities are endless.
Just remember why you’re taking up a hobby.
It’s to keep your mind off smoking and not draw your mind into it.
8. Find A Sport
So, we’ve well established that keeping yourself occupied and active, significantly helps in quitting smoking.
Yoga, Tai-Chi, swimming, and even meditation and hobbies.
But nothing requires as much commitment as taking up a new sport.
There’s more to it than simply just hitting the gym.
Sports like basketball, volleyball, and golf are good choices.
Even contact sports like boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and Muay Thai make good options.
If you want edgier sports, competitive shooting, surfing, and wake boarding all make perfect examples.
The thing with sports is that they instill discipline more than any other activity on our list.
They're an investment you can make whose benefits outweigh the costs of what you put into it.
Here’s how you can get started.
Start with a sport that appeals to you.
Remember, this is a commitment.
Look for a sport that you think best suits your vibe.
After all, you’re going to invest your time and money in this new sport.
Learn your new sport.
Once you’ve decided what sport you want to try out, it’s time you learn its ins and outs.
But how is this going to help you quit smoking at all.
Digging in deep your new-found sport, and finding its ins and outs means that you’ll get into the heart of it.
The more that you take that in the more you’ll incorporate the sport into your lifestyle.
The harder it is for you to get out, and get back to smoking.
Remember, it’s all about discipline.
Start slow and work your way up.
Remember, you’re a smoker on your way to recovery.
You’re not going to be as good as others in your class, or other players in the court right off the bat.
You’re going to have difficulty breathing and your muscles will be shaking if you get some serious physical activity.
Cut yourself some slack.
Take it easy.
Once you get accustomed to the sport, aim to make it more frequent.
Regardless what sport you take up, remember that it takes serious discipline.
A solid regimen you have to follow.
9. Cut Down on Coffee
A lot of smokers find that drinking caffeine triggers their urges to smoke.
This has more to do with how drinking coffee chemically reacts to your body.
Or how caffeine and nicotine interact with each other.
Caffeine metabolism increases when you smoke.
This means that your body tells you to want to consume more coffee while smoking.
Many smokers light up a cigarette with a cup of coffee in hand, during smoke breaks or their free time hanging out with friends.
These triggers suck up on each other until the act of drinking coffee alone triggers the urge to smoke.
And this is not limited to coffee alone, other beverages like tea or any other conventional coffee-shop beverage might do.
Both coffee and cigarettes have the same stimulant effects.
Both substances promote dopamine production.
So how do you cut down your coffee consumption?
Change your routine.
How often do you drink coffee?
Who do you drink coffee with?
These are questions you have to ask yourself when changing your coffee routine.
Say you consume more than 3 tall glasses daily.
More than just to perk up your day.
Too much caffeine consumption may trick your brain to believe that it’s acting on the same stimulant as cigarette smoking.
If you take your cup of joe at a coffee shop where smoking is allowed, better switch to a non-smoking coffee place.
You also might want to avoid hanging out with friends who smoke.
Try reducing your caffeine intake, switch to clean air coffee shops, and drink coffee with your non-smoking friends.
Find an alternative.
You don’t always have to drink coffee.
Even Starbucks offers non-caffeinated beverages.
Try drinking lemonades, teas, hot chocolates, and other beverages.
Smoothies will also help flush out any toxins out of your body.
Know that caffeine doesn’t only come in coffee.
Your fix of caffeine doesn’t always have to be coffee.
Sodas contain caffeine.
So does energy drinks and other caffeine flavored or infused dairy products.
If you need to have your caffeine, you can always find it in these products instead of getting a cup of joe at the coffee shop you used to go to.
Remember to take these into consideration when cutting down on coffee.
Small, baby steps will lead you to a smoke-free lifestyle.
10. Eat Healthy
Being smoke free means changing your lifestyle.
And it starts with what you eat.
Eating healthy food and taking up a healthy eating habit will help you and your body cope up with withdrawal symptoms.
Here's how you get started.
Eat fruits and veggies.
Fruits and vegetables are a good source of natural vitamins and minerals.
Eating healthy food will strengthen your body’s resistance and immunity.
A single cigarette drains your body away of 25 mg of vitamin C.
Eating fruits and vegetables will restore the vitamins your cigarettes just robbed you of.
Food like meat, caffeinated beverages, and even alcohol, improve the taste of cigarettes.
Fruits and vegetables on the other hand can make the taste of cigarettes worse.
Plan your meals.
Eating healthy doesn’t only mean that you’d have to eat a couple of fruits and vegetables at irregular intervals.
This means that you should also set a regular meal pattern.
Pretty much like how you set a regular exercise regimen.
It’s all about commitment.
Here’s how you get it done.
- Consider the basic food groups
- Have a heavy breakfast
- Chew on veggie sticks
Knowing the basic food groups will help you with planning a proper diet.
A proper diet (like having a heavy breakfast) will keep you full during the day.
When you’re full, you’ll have less likelihood of getting urges.
Furthermore, having breakfast improves your alertness.
When you’re alert, you’re more aware of what’s happening around you.
You’ll have more control of fighting over urges.
Bringing veggie sticks over can also help with dealing with urges.
You can always chew on these sticks to keep your mouth busy and fight the cravings.
If you have a strong appetite for the munchies, substitute your snacks.
Instead of snacking on flavored chips, try munching on nuts or popcorn.
Popcorns and nuts aren’t only healthy but they will also keep your hands busy from wanting to grab another cigarette.
You also might want to snack on some frozen grapes.
Because they’re sweet, they’ll help you fight the urge to smoke as well as dull down the taste of cigarette.
Remember that you are what you eat.
By eating healthy and feeding your body the right food, you’re helping yourself cope up with the possible withdrawal symptoms you’d expect from quitting.
11. Stay Hydrated
You’ve already managed to build a routine.
You’re exercising regularly.
You’ve taken up a good, vigorous sport.
With all that activity on your program, you’re bound to lose more bodily fluids that what your body was accustomed to.
What better way to address that than by staying hydrated?
In fact, having a bottle of water with you at all times can be more beneficial for you especially now that you’re quitting.
Dehydration makes you feel tired.
Your desire to gulp down water tells you that you’ve already lost 2 to 3 percent of your body fluids.
Dehydration causes your blood volume to drop.
When your blood volume drops, your heart works harder to make sure you get as much blood as you need sent to your brain.
Losing body fluids makes you feel tired.
Exhaustion and stress trigger the urge to smoke.
Therefore, drinking water and keeping yourself hydrated helps you combat the urge to smoke.
Water keeps you busy.
Well, technically water in a bottle.
Keeping your hands and your mouth busy keeps you away from reaching out for a cigarette.
Screwing the caps on and off can keep your hands occupied.
Likewise, sipping from your water bottle will also keep your lips busy.
Doing this from time to time will keep your mind off of cigarettes.
Helps with withdrawals.
Some of those who quit suffer headaches.
Headaches are common especially in your first few days without smoking.
In worse cases, you’d even get smoker’s flu.
That’s because your brain copes up with the loss of its regular supply of nicotine.
By staying hydrated, you keeping withdrawal symptoms at bay.
So, make sure to keep a water bottle handy to help you with your way to living smoke-free.
12. Be Health Conscious
Being conscious about your health means that you have to pay attention to the negative effects of smoking.
One of the leading causes of preventable deaths in the United States is cigarette smoking.
Smoking causes an average of 480,000 deaths a year.
Why so you ask?
Here are some compelling reasons why smoking is bad for your health.
It’s got harmful chemicals in it.
The tobacco used in conventional cigarettes include additives.
These additives can either improve the flavor or the potency of cigarettes.
While they can provide enhanced sensation, these additives cause a complex mixture of harmful chemicals.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) says that there are at least 70 chemicals in cigarette smoke known to cause cancer.
It causes bad breath.
Cigarette smoking can cause unwanted foul smell from your mouth.
You also run into the risk of having yellow teeth, as well as gum problems and damaged taste buds.
Smoking does more harm than good to you and your body.
Affects your fertility.
In men, smoking has been known to damage sperm and reduce sperm count.
In women, overall fertility is reduced.
Both men and women who smoke found it harder to conceive than those who do not smoke.
Moreover, pregnant women and men who smoke around pregnant women put the unborn baby into risks of getting stillbirth, premature birth, and miscarriages.
So, if you value yourself and the people around you, you better quit smoking and pay attention to your health.
But how can someone be “health conscious?”
Here are some simple tips on how you can be more aware of your overall health.
Understand the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
There’s a difference between knowing and understanding.
Have you ever been sick?
Do you like being sick?
Chances are, you’ll answer no to both questions.
That’s because your body is in pain when you’re not feeling well.
You experience discomfort, you can’t go outside, you can’t function as you normally do.
Being healthy has its perks.
The more you understand and relate to its benefits, the more you’d appreciate living a healthy lifestyle.
Have yourself checked.
After you’ve understood what it’s like to be healthy, it’s time to reaffirm and reassess.
Visit your local health clinic or your local hospital.
Have yourself checked and find out your current physical state.
Don’t wait for it.
Alright, you had yourself looked at.
It’s good if your doctor did not find any problems.
Now, don’t wait till you get sick.
Stop smoking, make that move and keep yourself healthy.
13. Be Hygiene Conscious
It’s great that you’ve developed an awareness to your health.
Now, part of maintaining a healthy you is having a serious personal hygiene.
Not only does good personal hygiene make you feel good, it also makes you look good.
Here are a few examples how smoking ruins your good looks and how people perceive you.
It’ll make your teeth go away.
Yes, we’ve already told you that smoking causes bad breath and yellow teeth.
However, one of the worst hygienic effects of smoking is tooth decay.
When you smoke, you take up so much nicotine that it reduces your saliva flow.
This causes your saliva to thicken therefore giving less protection to your teeth.
Little do you know that your saliva carries important minerals.
These include phosphorous, calcium, and fluoride which help strengthen and help repair the enamel on your teeth.
Smoking can also cause significant reduction in bone and tissue supporting your teeth.
Without support, guess what’ll happen to your pearly whites.
It affects your skin.
Smoking damages your skin.
No, it’s not the skin damages you get when you get yourself burned from cigarette burns.
It's the damage you get when the chemicals in cigarette smoke affects your skin’s components.
This include your skin's elastin and collagen.
Proteins that keep your skin look glowing and firm.
Smoking will also affect your skin’s ability to heal from wounds.
Smokers are also known to suffer from skin staining among other skin problems.
That's not only because of bad breath.
Remember third-hand smoking?
When you smoke, it leaves residue like lees in the bottom of a wine barrel.
This residue gets stuck on your clothes, your nails, your hair, and on your skin.
Furthermore, since your body absorbs the chemicals in cigarette smoke, these chemicals normally are excreted through your sweat.
When you smoke, your overall hygiene is affected.
So, how can you be more conscious of your own hygiene?
We’ve got you covered, here are some tips.
Look at how people react to you when you talk.
Do you see them covering their noses?
Are some of them looking at your teeth when you open your mouth?
Chances are, they’ve noticed your reeking breath and your yellow (and probably rotten) tooth.
Seeing how people react to you when you interact with them will make you more aware of your personal hygiene.
Obviously, good hygiene affects social acceptance.
The more you smell and look desirable, the more accepting and welcoming people are towards you.
Everyone wants to be with a pleasant person.
You'll find that you’ll easily make friends when you take time for grooming rather than when you let stink with the smell of cigarette smoke.
Not only with friends but with colleagues.
Not only in social situations but in professional undertakings.
You’ll notice that good grooming can spell the difference between promotion and being left out.
Remember to make yourself aware of the negative effects of smoking and how it facilitates poor grooming and hygiene.
If you pay attention to your physical wellbeing, you’ll find that it may serve as your inspiration in your journey.
It can also keep you afloat and prevent you from ever smoking again.
Another important aspect to help you be smoke free is mental preparation.
Having a solid mental approach can increase your chances of success and prevent relapses at the same time.
A sound psychological strategy will also help with easing up the urges making withdrawal management easier and more bearable.
Here are some tips.
14. Learn About Cigarettes
They say knowing is half the battle.
Finding out what you’re up against will help you make better preparations.
It will also help you better understand how you can combat its adverse effects.
Here's how you do it.
Read about it.
You don’t necessarily have to visit the library.
You can leverage the power of the digital age.
There are a lot of available source materials available online.
You’ll be good as long as you have internet connection and a mobile device.
You’ll be a tap away from some of the best articles (and videos) on the world wide web.
Immerse yourself in anti-smoking programs.
There are a lot of anti-smoking programs rallying different kinds of anti-smoking campaigns nowadays.
You can find private organizations, non-government organizations (NGOs), as well as state-run organizations.
Just take your pick.
We suggest starting off with government-run programs.
These will give you a clear idea of how these programs are run.
They range from seminars, 24/7 hotlines, daily text message reminder and so on.
The most effective programs are those that involve sharing of life testimonies.
Actual life testimonies have been proven to help strengthen a quitter’s resolve.
These programs will help you understand your situation better.
You’d also have a clear view of what you’re up against from a clinical standpoint.
These anti-smoking programs are the best place to start learning about the adverse impacts of smoking.
Most smokers deny the adverse effects of smoking.
Those who are against this practice will be more than happy to indulge you with this information.
Having someone tell you and remind you of the hazardous effects of smoking can make a difference.
Especially from a professional perspective.
It will validate what you’ve been long denying – that smoking is bad.
15. Watch Anti-Smoking Ads
Based on a study of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC.
A three-month campaign involving the use of advertisements or short video clips of former smokers have resulted to a significant decrease in the number of active smokers.
That's about 100,000 people as CDC reports.
These ads convinced these individuals to stop smoking...
These PSA’s were able to knock some sense into smokers.
It gave them a glimpse of what’s in store for them should they continue to abuse their bodies through smoking.
These ads include tips from former smokers who now sound like robots.
Especially ones that speak through an electrolarynx.
Another commercial shows a woman having difficulty of moving.
The lady required help even when going to the bathroom.
These ads were successful tools in preparing smokers quit mentally.
You’re seeing people who had their voice boxes removed because of smoking.
If that won’t work, I don’t know what else would.
It’s a vivid representation of the consequences of the said habit.
If you haven’t ran into these ads and you’re interested to see what they’re about, here’s what you can do.
- Sit in front of your computer or any device that can connect to the internet.
- Open your browser and search YouTube.
- Go to CDC’s channel and search for the “Tips from Former Smokers” playlist.
- Look over some of the videos.
Now, these are just the videos that CDC produced.
There are a lot of source materials that show the same information.
Let it help you with your psychological and conceptual preparation when quitting.
16. Watch Inspiring Stories
So, you’ve looked at the anti-smoking ads.
It’s now time to watch or read something positive to lift your spirits up from all the dreaded consequences of smoking.
Inspiring stories doesn’t always have to be seen in videos.
Some are published in blogs and are even issued in news articles.
Inspiring stories are an important resource for anyone wanting to quit.
It’s the same as those anti-smoking commercials but leans toward the positive side of smoking.
It’s like something to look forward to after you’ve quit.
These stories will keep you going even in the face of a possible relapse.
They’ll remind you that there’s a reason why you’re doing this.
And that being smoke free has beneficial results waiting for you just right around the corner.
If you want to engross yourself in some inspiring stories, here’s what you can do.
Join social media groups.
One easy way of getting your hands on some amazing quit stories is by joining groups.
You can easily find ones in almost every social media platform.
Think of it this way.
You don’t have to spend money for books, magazines, and even gasoline or a bus ticket to your local library.
This information is just at the tip of your fingers.
You’re always connected on the internet anyways.
Subscribe to newsletters.
Other groups dedicated to reduce the number of smokers have monthly issues that help them spread the word.
Part of these are testimonials that will inspire you to keep on going.
They don’t have to be miraculous stories.
Any inspiring story that hits close to home will surely create an impact enough to inspire you.
Search videos on YouTube.
One of the most accessible video libraries, YouTube, has a wide collection of videos of just about anything.
You’ll find videos of inspiring claims and attestation o previous smokers who have succeeded in their journey.
Keep at it.
What you can do is store videos on your phone, you can even save ones in your desktop or laptop.
You can also keep ones that are printed copies in your wallet or atop your desk.
Anywhere that will help you remind of the beautiful stories of success that will inspire you to do better.
Quitting isn't easy, you’re going to need all the help you can get.
17. Prepare Yourself Mentally
There are a lot of reasons why you should prepare yourself mentally for when you quit.
However, one of the more crucial purposes is to prepare yourself for relapses.
Furthermore, most smokers who quit experience a strong urge to smoke especially in the first three months.
You’re no exception.
Here are some options you can consider that’ll help you strengthen your mental game.
Proper counselling can make a significant difference in a smoker’s life.
The right counselling can address both the social and the emotional concerns of a smoker.
This will help you prepare for the challenges and the obstacles you will face along the way.
In some cases, counselling is also advised in families.
Especially in families where adolescents are deemed to be very likely to acquire smoking.
This could be as a result from what they see from their parents.
There’s substantial evidence that counselling is an effective tool in helping smokers quit.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is a form of treatment for individuals with psychological problems.
It’s now seen as a budding means of psychological intervention for those with cigarette and nicotine addiction.
Addiction and dependency are seen as a psychological condition.
So, the use of CBT may be an effective intercession since it can drastically change how one perceives smoking.
It works by altering and reorganizing an individual’s thought process as well as restructuring their behaviors.
By changing your thought patterns, it can help you with preparing for what’s to come.
One of the main purposes of mental preparation is to help you build confidence.
The more time you take to prepare, the more confident you’ll become.
At least that’s how it is in theory.
Having a strong mental game helps you establish a strong sense of conviction.
Once you’ve took these options into consideration, make sure you stick to it and commit to it.
18. Learn How You Can Handle Withdrawal Symptoms
Keeping in mind that you’re vulnerable to symptoms of nicotine withdrawal can help you manage and curb these manifestations.
Withdrawal symptoms begin the moment you stop.
It's your brain’s normal reaction to the sudden loss of nicotine and its way of adapting to this loss.
Knowing how you can manage these prodromes involve mental preparation amongst other arrangements.
Here's how you prepare for it.
Listen to music.
One of the best ways to handle withdrawal symptoms is by keeping yourself distracted.
One way of doing so is by listening to music.
Minutes into your playlist and you’ll find yourself singing to your jam.
Although, there might be a need to rearrange your playlist.
That’s because our brains have the capability not only of remembering the lyrics of the song.
Your brain can also remember memories that we have associated with the song.
And if some songs remind you of times when you smoked, it might be a good idea to remove it from the list.
However, if you like to live dangerously, keep the song in your play list and stare death right in the eye.
Your hands have gotten so used to holding cigarettes.
Your lips have been extremely familiar with latching onto cigarette butts.
Why not make a similar alternative?
Good options are carrot sticks, cucumber sticks and the likes.
Virtually almost any vegetable that resembles a stick of cigarette.
When your hand fells like reaching out for a cigarette, grab your veggie sticks.
Not only will they keep your hands and your mouth busy but they will also help keep you hydrated.
Keeping yourself hydrated helps with the withdrawal symptoms.
One common withdrawal symptom is sleep deprivation.
It may seem that catching some z’s during the day might help.
However, you’ll soon find that it’s counterproductive.
If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, napping during the day might even worsen your sleeping problems.
4. Light up candles instead of cigarettes.
You might feel like you’re living in a romantic novel with all those candles.
However, the aroma from all these wax lights will calm your senses and diffuse your cravings for a cigarette.
These are just some of ways you can deal with withdrawal symptoms.
When you’ve learned to combat your symptoms, you’ll have a better chance of succeeding.
19. Plan Your Future
Have you ever experienced daydreaming of what your future will be?
A husband, a wife, or kids?
Your own home, a car, or maybe a blossoming career?
All of these will be lost when you’re already bed ridden.
When you already have your voice box and your throat removed.
All those anti-smoking ads you’ve seen, think about it.
When you include your future plans in your strategy to quit smoking, you’re reinforcing your goals to keep your motivation up.
Here are some useful tips you can use when implementing this approach.
Write down your goals.
Grab a piece of paper, take a pen with you and find a place where you feel comfortable.
Write down your goals, big or small.
Writing things down will let you remember them better rather than, say, just thinking about them.
Once you have your goals written down, go over them again and imagine that you’ve achieved them.
This may sound cheesy but getting the feeling of what you’ve accomplished might help.
It can nullify your urges and preparing you mentally.
Look at what you have now.
If your future goals aren’t enough, try considering what you have right now.
You’re still physically capable, you still have a life.
Today and tomorrow is what’s important.
Don't waste what you have right now.
The pleasure and the sensation of smoking is only temporary.
Talk to your family.
If you’re still not motivated by your goals and your current achievements, consider your family.
Do you want your kids to lose you?
How about having a widowed spouse?
Talk to them.
Lean on to them for support and extra motivation.
Your future is important not only to you but to your family as well.
20. Have A Solid Reason
There’s no driving force more powerful than a strong personal motivation.
A solid purpose coupled with a strong will can help individuals even with the strongest dependencies.
While the reason behind each person may vary, the steps on how to effectively use this motivation remains the same.
Here’s what you can do to capitalize on your motivation.
- Grab a pen and a paper.
- Write down the reason/reasons why you’ve decided to be smoke free.
- Keep this paper with you and use it as a reminder whenever you feel like picking up a cigarette.
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) even recommends that you write down these reasons.
Again, you’ll remember them better.
Whether you’re giving up smoking for your family, for your health, or because of the costs, writing them down helps reinforce these reasons.
Why do you need to capitalize on your reasons you may ask?
That’s because when you feel like giving up, going back to why you decided to quit helps.
It will keep you on the right track during tough times.
21. Appreciate the Beauty of Nature
Cigarette smoking does as much harm to your body as it does to the environment.
It leaves environmental footprints that take years to decompose.
It also harms and pollute the atmosphere.
Air pollution is one of the more obvious effects of cigarette smoking on the environment.
One of the main components that cause air pollution is carbon monoxide.
It’s an odorless and colorless gas.
What’s ironic is although it’s totally unnoticeable, it’s highly poisonous.
Carbon monoxide can also be found on car fumes.
It's considered as a temporary atmospheric pollutant especially in densely populated areas.
A significant concentration of carbon monoxide can be observed in space.
Apart from atmospheric pollution, cigarettes can also cause contamination on the ground.
Cigarette filters can take anywhere from 18 months to 10 years to break down and dissolve.
The filtered chemicals on the cigarette butt can mix with the soil causing pollution.
Similarly, the filters can contaminate water should their way to the waterways.
The chemicals on the cigarette filters can contaminate the water affecting the lifeforms in it.
Not to mention those who are about to drink it.
Regardless where you dump cigarette butts, they will eventually contaminate the environment one way or another.
Knowing that quitting will help mother nature not only makes you feel good physically.
It also makes you feel good about yourself knowing that what you do affects the place we live in.
Appreciating the beauty of nature isn’t only in taking in scenic locations.
It also means doing your part in preserving our unique environment.
22. Have a Reward to Look Forward to
When you’re quitting, you subject yourself to some serious pressure.
It can be both physically as well as psychologically taxing.
Knowing that you’ll have a reward to look forward to will help you manage and tolerate the difficulties of quitting.
Most smokers smoke to relieve stress.
And to put more stress to yourself by depriving yourself of cigarettes may have its drawbacks.
So, how do you deal with it?
Yes, your reward system can be daily, weekly, or monthly.
It can be monetary (since you’ll get to save from quitting) or in other forms that suit you best.
Your rewards can be anything from a fancy meal to that new expensive tech you’ve been eyeing.
Find a reward that’ll keep you motivated.
We suggest shifting your rewards from something you desire to something that’ll help you achieve your goal.
Why not buy yourself new running shoes?
Update your gaming rig so you’ll enjoy newer games that require more demanding hardware.
You might also want to treat yourself to a spa-day to help ease up your stress.
Remember, the more you put into quitting the higher your chances of succeeding are.
Having said, here are a few tips to help you get started.
Put your money in a jar.
Remember all that saving we talked about?
Why not put all the money you save in a jar? Or anywhere you can monitor your savings.
You’ll be surprised that the money you save can turn into an iPad or a new smartphone in three months.
Change your rewards.
Changing the actual reward helps you trick your brain and helps keep you looking forward.
When you get the same thing over and over again, you run into a monotonous pace.
You'll eventually get tired of quitting and my trick yourself to believe that it isn’t worth it.
Changing the rewards from time to time will teach your brain to understand that rewards doesn’t only come from smoking.
And that you’re actually missing out on a lot by giving up the habit.
Have different reward levels.
Different levels of achievements call for different kinds of rewards.
We now know that the first few weeks of quitting is the hardest.
Why not give yourself a befitting reward for this milestone?
Been clean for 3 months?
Buy yourself to something more appropriate.
Remember it’s all about motivation.
23. Understand How Your Brain Reacts to Nicotine
Knowing what happens to your brain when you smoke is important.
It helps you gain a deeper understanding of your dependency.
The more you understand how your brain reacts to cigarette smoking, the more you’ll be able to combat your addiction.
Cigarettes contain nicotine.
Nicotine is highly addictive and affects the function of your brain.
It facilitates an increased production of dopamine, that’s why you feel pleasure when you smoke.
The thing about nicotine is that the more of it you take in, the harder it is for you to stop.
Your brain produces nicotine receptors when you smoke.
The more you smoke, the more of these receptors are produced.
These receptors are conditioned to receive nicotine which causes the cravings.
They wait to be fed the moment you stop.
The combination of the abrupt cessation of dopamine production and the sudden loss of nicotine causes the cravings and the dreaded withdrawal symptoms.
Knowing what happens behind the scenes lets you find more practical solutions.
Here are two.
Find a replacement.
Now that you know that the production of dopamine significantly influences your addiction, you can use this knowledge to your advantage.
Find something else to consume or to do which may trigger the same effect of pleasure as smoking does.
It all depends on what gives you pleasure.
Doing so will trick your brain to feel pleasure and shift your focus from grabbing another cigarette to seeking other forms of pleasure.
One key characteristic of brain receptors is its ability to repair itself.
Abstinence from nicotine will allow your brain to allow most of its receptors to return to normal.
Yes, you’d suffer from withdrawal symptoms but you’ll eventually recover.
These are just some ways you can use your knowledge about how your brain works to your advantage.
You’ll find ways that’ll ultimately work for you.
You’ve been seeing triggers since you’ve started reading this article.
Our first line item (Create a plan) briefly mentioned that triggers are stimulants.
These could be food, situations, or emotions that drive you to just grab a cigarette and start smoking.
Here are a few examples and how to deal with them.
24. Avoid Social Triggers
Different individuals have different smoking triggers.
Some might want to smoke when around with people because of social anxiety.
Others might want to smoke because of stress.
Few get the urge to smoke while they get coffee or when they drink alcohol.
Knowing what gives you the itch helps substantially in preventing relapses.
Here are a few ways to avoid them.
- List down your smoking triggers.
- Once you’ve identified these triggers think of a way to avoid them.
Example: If you smoke at a particular area at your home or when you’re at the office, avoid going to that place.
- Create a viable plan to avoid these triggers.
Example: Change your daily routine to avoid triggers.
Avoiding these social triggers are easier once you’ve come up with a plan.
If you get the urge to smoke when you drink liquor, refrain from drinking.
If you can’t help but smoke when you feel stressed, get yourself a stress ball.
You’d find that there are a lot of ways you can avoid these triggers.
25. Hangout with non-smokers
Speaking of social triggers, some individuals are what you’d call social smokers.
These smokers light up mostly when around peers and see smoking as a social activity.
If you’re this kind of smoker, there’s no effective way to avoid this trigger than to avoid smokers.
If you find that you feel the need to smoke when your friends start smoking then it’s time you hang out with non-smokers.
Here are a few tips on how you go about it.
Talk to your smoker friends.
Tell our friends that you’ve decided to be smoke free.
Talk to them that hanging out with them (while they smoke) triggers your urge to smoke.
Let them know that it’s the only reason and not because you no longer enjoy their company.
Openness is the key.
If they’re real friends, they’d understand.
Find new non-smoking friends.
You’d have to make new friends the moment you stop joining your smoking friends during smoke breaks.
That’s because for most people, loneliness can spark a strong urge to smoke.
Find non-smoking friends.
You might be missing out on good and healthy company.
Go to non-smoking places.
In some cases, you really just can’t leave your buddies.
Invite them to go hang out with you to non-smoking places.
Join their company only when you go to non-smoking locations.
This way you still get to hang out with them while avoiding your trigger.
26. Join Forums
The social aspects of smoking aren't always negative.
Sometimes finding the right crowd might even help you quit.
The world wide web is littered with forums form people who are trying to quit.
We strongly suggest you give them a try.
Here's how you get started.
Sit in front of your PC, tablet, or your smartphone.
Open your browser.
Search for online forums.
Register ad create an account.
Once you’ve made an account you can start joining forums.
In these forums you can discuss experiences and best practices with your new online friends.
27. Find A Support Group
You need to know that you’re not alone in the battle to be smoke free.
A lot of people go through the same struggle as you.
Finding a support group can help ease the struggles you’ll go through in your journey.
Studies show that about 50 million people in the United States alone smoke.
That’s a lot.
Almost more than half of these numbers are trying to be smoke free.
Here are some benefits of having a support group behind you.
You’ll find people who understand.
It helps to talk to friends and family.
However, in most cases, you’d find that they just nod their heads without ever understanding what you’re going through.
A support group gives you a pool of individuals that go through the same struggles as you do.
This means that you get genuine answers to questions and legitimate nods of approvals to whatever you’d like to share.
It lets you gauge your progress.
Although quitting is not a race, it’s important to track your progress.
Having people who are at the same path as you are lets you check how you're doing.
Furthermore, those who experienced relapses and those who had success can share what they did to help you move on if you feel like being stuck in a loop.
It gives you a sense of accomplishment.
Support groups allow their members to mentor one another at some point.
You’d probably be paired with a buddy whilst in a program.
You can help your buddy improve by sharing your best practices.
Sharing what works and what doesn’t.
Knowing you’ve helped a fellow smoker leaves a good feeling inside.
Now that we’ve got the physical, mental, and social aspects covered, it’s time we talk about alternatives.
Alternatives are your friends.
Especially during the first few weeks without smoke.
During this time, you’d have the strongest cravings and without the right alternatives, you could easily give in.
Here are a few effective ones.
28. Switch to Vaping
Vaping is a popular tool used in smoking cessation and also for nicotine replacement.
What’s good about vaping is that it mimics the act of smoking.
You’d still get to huff and puff as well as take nicotine through your lungs.
All this without the toxic byproducts of conventional cigarettes.
When you switch to vaping, here’s what you can do.
Most vape juices and e-liquids have various levels of nicotine strength.
If you’re a heavy smoker and have a strong nicotine dependence, you can start with a high-nic juice and work your way down.
Once you reach zero, you can put your vaporizer down or just continue using zero-nic e-liquids.
Try out different flavors.
One advantage to using vaporizers is the wide selection of e-juices.
You’d find fruity ones, nutty ones, and even ones based on pastries.
This means that you’ll never have to get bored or settle with one flavor, which could lead to smoking relapses.
Just change the flavor of your e-liquid if you’re getting tired of the flavor you’re using.
Try different settings.
Some vaporizers are designed to function in a specific way.
Some vapes are geared for flavor while others lean towards visible vapor production.
To keep vaping interesting, try different settings and make your sessions more interesting.
29. Use Nicotine Replacements
There are many products that can be used for nicotine replacement.
You’ll find patches, gums, lozenges, topicals, and sprays.
Each product has its own set of advantages depending on what your situation calls for.
Here are some things to consider when using nicotine replacements.
Don’t be afraid to use different products.
Because of the vast number of products on the market for nicotine replacement, we suggest that you explore.
Every individual is different. What works for your friend at your support group might now work for you.
Try out different products until you find the one that suits you best.
Ask for advice.
We know we said that no single product works for everyone.
But it’s still good to get feedback from a product before you try it out.
Leverage your support groups and ask them if they’ve tried using the product you’ve been eyeing.
You can also start a thread on the online form of your choice.
Don’t forget to check the label.
Like any product you’re buying, always check the label.
Look for the ingredients used, they might be using ingredients you’re allergic to.
Nicotine replacement has proved to help quitters find success.
In fact, a lot of smokers who do not use nicotine replacements experience relapses compared to those who do.
30. Try Hypnosis
Medical hypnosis has seen a lot of applications.
Recently, people have been using it to help them stop smoking.
Clinical hypnosis is defined as an intervention to alter a person’s state of awareness.
Hypnosis works like CBT although with hypnosis you’re put on a trance.
The approach in hypnosis for smokers is quite different from other forms of behavioral therapy.
It often involves imagining negative images or unpleasant outcomes.
Hypnosis trains your mind by allowing you to enter a state of mental consciousness.
It may be an unconventional way of helping smokers quit.
But some find success in using this approach.
We suggest those who want a contemporary means to give it a try.
So, there we have it.
A comprehensive list of the best tips you can do to help you stop smoking.
Out of all these tips, we’d want to know which one you’d be trying out first.
Help us help other smokers, like and share this article.