• For the first few days after you quit smoking, spend as much free time as possible in public
places where smoking is not allowed, such as libraries, malls, museums, theaters, restaurants
without bars, and churches.
• Don’t drink alcohol, coffee, and other drinks you associate with smoking. Try drinking a variety
of other drinks instead. Try different types of waters or fruit juices. This may be the time to
indulge in some interesting teas you have never tried.
• If you miss the feeling of having a cigarette in your hand, put a substitute in your hand – a
pencil, a paper clip, a coin, or a marble, for example.
• If you miss the feeling of having something in your mouth, try toothpicks, cinnamon sticks,
sugarless gum or celery.
• Avoid temptation by staying away from situations you associate with pleasurable smoking.
• Find new habits and create a nonsmoking environment around you.
• Anticipate future situations or crises that might make you want to smoke again, and remind
yourself of all the important reasons you have decided to quit. To reinforce these reasons,
you may want to put a picture of your children up in your workplace or keep one handy in your
purse or wallet.
• Take deep, rhythmic breaths similar to smoking to relax, and picture your lungs filling with
fresh, clean air.
• Remember your goal and the fact that the urges to smoke will eventually pass.
• Think positive thoughts about how awesome it is that you are quitting smoking and getting
healthy and try to avoid negative ones.
• Brush your teeth and enjoy that fresh taste.
• Do brief bursts of exercise (alternate tensing and relaxing muscles, push-ups, deep knee
bends, walk up a flight of stairs, or touch your toes).
• Call a supportive friend, family member, or Quitline® counselor (1-866-QUIT-YES [784-8937]).
• Eat several small meals during the day instead of 1 or 2 large ones. This maintains constant
blood sugar levels, which keeps your energy in balance and helps prevent the urge to smoke.
Avoid sugary or spicy foods that may trigger a desire for cigarettes.
• Above all, reward yourself. Reward yourself frequently if that’s what it takes to keep going.
Plan to do something fun for doing your best.
|AFTER You STOP Smoking:
Things to do to get through Rough Spots
|When you get the "Crazies"
• Keep oral substitutes handy, such as carrots, pickles, apples, celery, raisins, or gum.
• Take 10 deep breaths, and hold the last one while lighting a match. Exhale slowly and blow out
the match. Pretend it is a cigarette and put it out in an ashtray.
• Take a shower or bath.
• Learn to relax quickly and deeply. Make yourself go limp. Visualize a soothing, pleasing
situation, and get away from it all for a moment. Concentrate on that peaceful image and
• Light incense or a candle, instead of a cigarette.
• Tell yourself “no.” Say it out loud. Practice doing this a few times, and listen to yourself. Some
other things you can say to yourself might be, “I’m too strong to give in to smoking,” “I’m a
nonsmoker now,” or “I don’t want to let my friends and family down.”
• Never allow yourself to think that “one won’t hurt,” because it may.
• Wear a rubber band around your wrist. Whenever you have a thought about smoking, snap it
against your wrist to remind yourself of all the unpleasant reasons that made you want to quit
in the first place, Then remember that you will not always need a rubber band to help you stay
in line with your plans to quit. Smile at yourself then go get an apple or walk outside and
breathe in the fresh air. Or start a conversation with your coworker or neighbor that has
nothing to do with you.
|Click on the logo above to be directed to the American Cancer Society
|IL Tobacco Quitline: