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You’ve started your quit journey, and have put out your last cigarette (or are preparing to do so).

Great job! Now you just need to ride out and tahan (withstand) the occasional craving and withdrawal symptom — you’re prepared for that too, with your arsenal of 4Ds and coping techniques.

For this final stretch, here are some tips to help you stay smoke-free and level up from “quitter” to “ex-smoker”.

Always Remind Yourself Why You Quit

Every day, remind yourself why you quit. This will help you stay focused on the goals, and keep you motivated when you feel the urge to light up.

Write down your reasons on sticky notes and paste them all over your house and office, on your mirror, fridge, wardrobe, laptop... items you see daily.

Slip a note into your wallet too, as a quick reminder whenever you reach for it at the convenience store counter.

Buddy Up

On your quit journey, support from loved ones is important. These are the people who’ll cheer you on, keep you motivated when you’re facing obstacles, and celebrate the small wins with you.

Find someone who’ll quit smoking with you so you can motivate and support each other and celebrate the milestones.

Or have some non-smoker buddies help you along your journey: find an exercise kaki, a friend who’ll provide a listening ear and offer encouragement, and another friend who’ll be understanding and patient when you’re feeling cranky and moody.

Celebrate Small Successes

Reward yourself for the small wins (you deserve it!). Celebrate milestones like your first day without cigarettes, then your first week, then your first month...

Here are some ways to celebrate:

  • Get a massage.

  • Catch a movie with friends.

  • Enjoy a staycation using the money you saved.

  • Treat your loved ones to a good meal.

  • Buy yourself a nice present.

Dump the Bad, Keep the Good

Continue to avoid your smoking triggers: this gets easier with practice — soon, you won’t even need to make a conscious effort!

For example, keep staying away from smoking areas and events that might lead to smoking.

Spend time in shopping centres, indoor eateries, and museums, where you wouldn’t be tempted to smoke. When heading outdoors, go to areas where smoking is prohibited, like reservoirs and neighbourhood town parks.

And don’t forget to keep up with good habits like exercise, deep breathing, and snacking healthy. These not only help you stay smoke-free, but also help you improve your overall wellbeing.

If You Slip Up or Relapse

Staying smoke-free can be tough. What happens if you relapse? If you do slip up and smoke a cigarette, stay calm and don’t blame yourself or dwell on it. Not everyone will be able to give up smoking on their first few tries.

Move on and apply the techniques — delay, deep breath, drink water and distract yourself — to beat those cravings. Learn from the experience and restart your engines: you will get there!

Resources for Quitting

Join the I Quit 28-Day Countdown now! Call QuitLine at 1800 438 2000 for support, and visit participating retail pharmacies for advice and products that can help you quit.