Surviving the first month
If you can get through the first 30 days without cigarettes, you’ll have gone a long way towards kicking the habit.
The temptation will be great, so here are some coping strategies to help you stay off the cigarettes:
Pick a day
- Pick a day to quit when you won’t be under too much pressure or stress.
Throw it away
- On the evening before, throw away all cigarettes, lighters, and ashtrays.
Distract your hands
- Find a way to occupy your hands (e.g., stress ball, rubber bands) and mouth (e.g., low-calorie nibbles, fruit, sugar-free chewing gum)
Look after your mouth
- Do things to maintain a clean mouth taste, such as brushing your teeth frequently, chewing gum or using a mouthwash.
You are taking control
- Remind yourself that this is a choice you made – you chose not to smoke and you’re in control.
Steel yourself against temptation
- Having answers ready if someone offers you a cigarette. Practise saying, “No thanks, I don’t smoke”. Or if someone is persistent: “No thanks, I’ll have one later”, or “I’ve a bit of a sore throat”.
Start a savings jar
- Put in the amount you would normally spend on cigarettes. Write or stick a picture on it of what you are saving for. (Click here for our savings calculator)
Know what to avoid
- Try to avoid the places or situations that will remind you of smoking.
- Take up a sport or get active by walking or cycling. You’ll find it easier when you don’t smoke and you’ll feel better for it. (Click here for the benefits of getting active)
- Plan a treat such as the cinema or a meal out for yourself and your supporters.
One day at a time!
- Don’t think too far ahead. Each day without a cigarette is another success.
Find a treatment that helps
- Finally, to help take the edge off cravings, particularly in the difficult first few weeks, some smokers use medical smoking-cessation aids, most of which are based on nicotine replacement therapy.
For information and support on how to quit smoking, call the HSE Quit Team on 1800 201 203 or visit Quit.ie