July 11, 2012
Quitters always win – when it comes to quitting tobacco, that is. So if you have recently quit – we congratulate you! Quitting smoking is beneficial at any age, and you should already be seeing some of the positive effects of quitting1. But staying tobacco free can be a challenge, especially during the first few weeks when physical and mental cravings are at their peak. The following four tips can help keep you on the path to a healthier life.
- Know your “triggers.”
Certain locations, situations, and people may cause you to crave nicotine. Be aware of what makes you to want to use tobacco products – create a list of your own potential triggers. Once you understand what your triggers are, you can do your best to avoid them. Take a new route to work, trade your morning cup of joe in for a fruit smoothie, take a walk instead of a smoke break—and don’t forget to ask your friends and family members for their support.
- Fight cravings.
Cravings will happen, but you can fight them! Some tips to ease cravings are:
- Keep items on hand that can replace your cigarette. These items might include sunflower seeds, sugar-free gum, celery, raisins, or toothpicks.
- Relax by breathing deeply, and thinking of something peaceful.
- Change your scenery. Go outside, inside or to a different room to distract yourself.
- Remind yourself how hard you worked to quit and focus on the reasons why you did.
- Stay positive.
Quitting tobacco is hard, but you can do it. Just take it one day at a time. If you make a mistake, don’t be discouraged. More than half of all adults who ever smoked have quit1. So can you.
- Reward yourself.
Think about all the money you are saving by not using tobacco! Pack-a-day smokers who quit save about $2,000 a year1. That’s enough money to take a nice vacation or put a down payment on a new car! Find out how much money you are saving by quitting with Smokefree.gov’s savings calculator and reward yourself with something you really want—and deserve.
Additional Resources to Help You Stay Tobacco Free
For more help staying tobacco free, check out these resources from our federal partners:
- 1-800-QUITNOW (1-800-784-8669)
- Instant Message with LiveHelp
- Where to Get Help When You Decide to Quit Smoking
- 5 Keys for Quitting Smoking
- You Can Quit Smoking
- Download the Smokefree.gov Quit Guide app
1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2010.