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

Know what to avoid

  • Try to avoid the places or situations that will remind you of smoking.

Get active

Treat yourself

  • 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

Contact us

For information and support on how to quit smoking, call the HSE Quit Team on 1800 201 203 or visit