Quitting smoking is not easy, but if you have the will, here’s the way! We list some simple steps to help you stop that puff for good.
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.
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.
Concentrate on your breathing to help you relax, release tension and get over cravings.
Keeping your hands and mouth busy is often all you need to do to get over an urge to smoke.
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:
Take regular stretch breaks to re-energise your body. Try drinking peppermint tea.
Relaxation exercises like yoga, meditation and deep breathing really help to calm the mind.
Stay in quiet, relaxed surroundings. A head and shoulder massage can ease the pain.
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.
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.
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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This article was last reviewed on
15 Sep 2023
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