To Quit Smoking, Remember the 4Ds

Distract yourself by doing something else

quit smoking by replacing cigarettes with fruits, vegetables and healthy snacks to distract yourself

Prepare a ’Rescue Kit” to distract you from cravings. Replace cigarette toxins with low-calorie snacks, fruit and vegetables, dark chocolate or sugar-free candy.

SMS your friend or play some games on your handphone, to keep your hands occupied.

Delay Lighting Up Your Cigarette

delay lighting up a cigarette to quit smoking

Every time you feel the urge to light up a cigarette, listen to some energising and inspirational music. The cravings will pass within three to five minutes.

Do Deep Breathing Exercises

deep breathing exercises to help you quit smoking

Concentrate on your breathing to help you relax, release tension and get over cravings.

Drink a Glass of Water or Milk Slowly

drinking water or milk to help you quit smoking

Keeping your hands and mouth busy is often all you need to do to get over an urge to smoke.

Managing Your Cigarette Cravings

Nicotine in cigarettes can be as addictive as heroin and cocaine. Approximately 20% of smokers will experience strong withdrawal symptoms, especially within the first 48 hours of stopping.

However, cigarette cravings often disappear after the first two to three weeks and you will start to feel better.

If you suffer from withdrawal symptoms, try these to help make them more manageable:

Difficulty Concentrating

Take regular stretch breaks to re-energise your body. Try drinking peppermint tea.

Feeling irritable

Relaxation exercises like yoga, meditation and deep breathing really help to calm the mind.

Having headaches

Stay in quiet, relaxed surroundings. A head and shoulder massage can ease the pain.

Feeling tired

Get enough sleep and increase your physical activity. Drink ginger tea to perk yourself up.


Sip warm water. Suck on sugar-free cough drops.

Hunger or thirst in between meals

Drink lots of plain water or unsweetened fresh juices. Satisfy your hunger with low-calorie snacks.

If you find that your withdrawal symptoms unbearable, consider tapping onto nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) which increases the chances of quitting by easing these withdrawal symptoms. NRT supplies nicotine to the body to replace the nicotine from cigarettes and to help reduce nicotine cravings when quitting. The amount of nicotine supplied is slowly reduced over time to decrease dependency and help you quit smoking. Consult a pharmacist or doctor to find out more.

Change Your Habits

Smoking may have become part of your daily routine and you automatically reach for cigarettes at certain places, certain times or even around certain people.

Try introducing some changes to your daily routine, to replace old habits with new ones.

If you tend to take a certain route to work every day, take another path. Have your meals somewhere else that prohibits smoking and if you usually smoke after a meal, eat a fruit or brush your teeth instead.

If you haven’t already, throw away all your lighters, ashtrays and cigarette packs! ALL of them, including the ones you’ve hidden in your drawer for ’emergency’ purposes.

When you feel the urge to smoke, get active instead. Exercising releases mood-boosting endorphins and helps to relieve stress. In addition, exercise helps you lose weight and keep fit.

Smoking increases your risk of serious health conditions, including lung cancer and diabetes. There’s no better time to stop! Practise two or three of these tips and you’re on your way to a healthier life.

Resources for Quitting Smoking

Join the I Quit Programme and remain smoke free for 28 days and you are 5 times more likely to quit smoking. You can nominate your loved ones as a supporter when you sign up for the programme. Validate your smoke-free status and redeem a HPB eVoucher* worth $50 at the 28th day milestone. Keep going and you'll also receive eVouchers* worth $30 and $20 at the 3rd month and 6th month milestone respectively!

*Terms and conditions apply.

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