Quitting smoking can be extremly hard for some people. That’s why we have put together this huge stop smoking tips list to inspire you!
Quitting smoking can be extremly hard for some people.
That’s why we've put together this huge stop smoking tips list!
Why should you read this list?
Well, unless you've been hiding under a very sturdy rock, you'll know that smoking kills.
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the UK, notoriously linked to cancer, a variety of lung problems and heart disease.
No two cases are the same. Some are suddenly shocked into quitting by the loss of a loved one.
Others slowly get to grips with the harm they're doing to themselves when they encounter their first wheeze after climbing some stairs
Whatever your reasons, we're here to help you kick the habit and to that end, we've collected 107 of the best ways to stop smoking and help you fling the fags once and for all.
Browse the page by category: Click on the links below to jump to each category.
Section 1: Stop Smoking Cold Turkey
Section 2: Physical Tips
Section 3: Mental Tips
Section 4: Food
Section 5: Friends and family
Section 6: Medical Help to quit smoking
Stop Smoking Cold Turkey
While gradually weaning yourself off the cigs might seem like the most logical way to give up altogether, a recent study found relatively higher success rates in those who just stopped altogether cold turkey. This might be the best way to quit smoking for some, while others will struggle as the withdrawal symptoms may be too much of a shock to the body.
1. Plan it out
Smoking has ingrained itself into your lifestyle and while it'd be good if you could just flat-out stop - your chemical and psychological addiction to cigarettes is going to be a big barrier.
To get yourself out of the smoking mindframe, it pays to plan ahead - and then stick to that plan like glue. For instance, it might help to arrange a holiday around the time you plan to quit, removing the triggers that usually lead you to smoke.
2. Learn from others
No two smokers are exactly alike, but you can learn how to quit smoking from someone who's already fought the battle to quit and successfully overcome their addiction. Veteran quitters will be able to offer invaluable advice on tactics that you can learn to help you win the many tiny battles that the war to quit involves.
"My #1 smoking tip would be to stop smoking for yourself. For the simple reason that you'll enjoy life so much as a non-smoker. Everything else that comes with quitting (more money, better health, control, less stress, better relaxation) are fabulous bonuses."
John Dicey - From Allen Carr’s Easyway
3. Throw it out
Get rid of all your smoking paraphernalia and don't fall into the habit of bargaining with yourself that your next one will be the last one. If you leave yourself access to cigs, you'll always be aware they're there in the back of your mind.
4. Remove that smell
The smell of cigarettes is insiduous. So be sure to thoroughly cleanse anything that's come into contact with it. Pay particular attention to your clothes and any furniture coverings that may have been exposed.
5. Use logic
When the cravings come back, stop, take a breath and think logically. You will come to the conclusion that smoking is not what you want to do and like Spock, you’ll live long and prosper!
6. Drink water
Smoking is as much a habit as an addiction, so it pays to find a substitute for the act itself. When you find yourself craving a cigarette, try reaching for the H20 instead.
7. Reward yourself
As the days go by, cravings will get easier to control, so rewarding yourself at the beginning is important. If you get through a hard day of cravings, buy that t-shirt you always wanted. Giving up smoking is one of best things you'll ever do and you should be rewarded for trying!
8. Don’t skip meals!
You've only got a finite amount of willpower and skipping meals can weaken your mental defences, making it easier to give in to the temptation to smoke.
9. Twiddle that stick
Most people find it easier to quit when they have something in their hands. Using cinnamon sticks is one way of doing this.
10. Stop during Stoptober
Every year thousands quit smoking for 28 days and beyond with Stoptober. It starts on the 1st October, so you'll be joined by many others trying to kick the habit.
11. If you relapse, just start again
Don't view a relapse as a complete failure, just a bump in the road. As long as you're serious about wanting to quit - you'll get there if you just stick at it.
12. Don’t do it!
Going cold turkey isnt for everyone and some smokers going cold turkey may find they're more likely to relapse or cheat!
13. Throw out anything that reminds you of smoking
When your quit date arrives, throw out anything that reminds you of smoking. If anything's left behind, you'll know it's there, making it that much easier to give in to your cravings.
14. Put all the money you’re saving on cigarettes in a large glass jar
To help quantify the benefits of not smoking on your wallet, shove everything you would've spent on cigarettes in a large glass jar and put it on prominent display.
You can even calculate how much you will save with our cost calculator beforehand!
15. Switch to decaf
As you go through withdrawal from nicotine, you may find yourself getting irritable - switching to decaf coffee can help keep you level.
For many smokers, coffee and cigarettes go hand-in-hand, so it may be worthwhile to steer clear of the old Joe until you're over the worst of the withdrawal.
16. Play a game of solitaire on your computer
Computer games will keep your hands busy, your mind sharp and most importantly - stop you from being bored. Boredom is many smokers' #1 reason to reach for the cigs, so keep your mind active.
17. Pin this list up
Pin this list in a visible location in your house. Ok maybe it's a little big for that but you can save it to your phone or bookmark it to read later!
18. To minimize cravings, change your routine
Smoking becomes ingrained in your routine and switching things up for a short while can help you avoid patterns that lead to falling off the wagon.
19. Note when you smoke
As with above, if there's any situations where you'd usually have a cig - like a trip to the pub for instance - avoid these.
20. Press your ear
If you're a fan of complementary therapies like acupuncture, the ear is apparently the site of the Shenmen - a pressure point that can help provide relief from cravings.Quit Smoking Tip #20 Press your ear - It's apparently the site of a pressure point that can provide relief from cravingsClick To Tweet
21. Drown a cigarette
When you first decide to quit, get a reasonably-sized plastic water bottle and fill with water. Get a cigarette and mercilessly drown it. This isn't just cathartic, keep the bottle around and watch the water turn foul. Then, when you feel a craving spike coming on, undo the lid for a powerful reminder as to why quitting is a good idea.
22. Bury your cigarettes
Bury your cigarettes in the ground or in a pot. Every time you want to have one, you'll have to go through the effort of digging them up and reburying them afterwards! Believe it or not this tip works for some people!
23. Play Tetris
Tetris is not only a good game in itself, but will keep both your brain and your hands busy.
24. Hold your breath
Deep breathing techniques are used in a variety of disciplines, from yoga to martial arts and even in therapy. Take long, deep breaths and hold them while focusing your thoughts and consciously calming yourself.
25. Watch a movie
Whether at the cinema or in the comfort of your own home, a good film is a great way to take your mind off smoking for a couple of hours. Just don't pick Soul Plane.
26. Play with your cat
Or dog, we're not judging. It's an instantly rewarding activity that'll keep you both entertained and fend off thoughts of smoking.
27. Do some gardening
Weather permitting, heading out to the garden can be a triple whammy for keeping your mind off cigs - keeping you busy, giving you a hit of vitamin D and mood-boosting endorphins thanks to the vigorous exercise.
28. Take a walk
Walking is another great way to get exercise, as well as steer clear of habits that lead you to smoke.Quit Smoking Tip #27 Take a walk - Sounds simple and it is! It also helps steer you clear of habits that lead you to smokeClick To Tweet
29. Take a long bike ride
As mentioned, exercise is one of the best ways to battle cravings and bike rides will get your blood pumping, as well as providing a way to avoid habits that you associate with smoking.
30. Go hiking
It's like walking, but better. Pick somewhere with nice scenery and watch those thoughts of smoking fade away.
31. Cut the grass
Tidy house, tidy mind. Cutting the grass will provide a sense of accomplishment, as well as some mild exercise.
32. Go swimming
Taking a dip is a great way to clear your head and will exercise muscles you pretty much never use elsewhere.
33. Take a nap
A quick nap will leave you feeling refreshed, relaxed and not thinking about smoking.
34. Spend the money you saved by not smoking
It pays to quit smoking and you can quantify this by putting the money you would've spent on cigs on display in a piggy bank or bottle. After you reach a milestone, buy yourself something nice to celebrate.
35. Take up yoga
Yoga can help reduce stress and keep you fit, providing a powerful way to beat the cravings.
36. Clean the car
We're all guilty of letting the junk pile up in our cars. Cleaning yours will keep you busy and provide a sense of accomplishment.
37. Take the dog for a walk
They'll love it and it'll keep you distracted from smoking.
38. Go for a run
Get a quick hit of endorphins and banish thoughts of smoking.
39. Do a Bupa run
With the previous tip getting you running, maybe you should take the next step and sign up for a Bupa run. This acts as great motivation to stop smoking and will get you fitter. You could even sign up to a charity like cancerresearchuk.org and help others.
40. Play Pokemon Go
Play Pokemon Go! This habit is far healthier than smoking and has the added bonus of exercise. Just watch where you go!
41. Set a quit date
It's always easy to push your quit date back and back again, so set in stone when you're going to stop.
42. Make an honest list of all the things you like about smoking
We're all well aware of the bad points about smoking, but few are as candid about the things that make it such a popular hobby. Be honest and write down all the things you enjoy about smoking and you'll have an easier time letting them go.
43. Then make another list of why quitting won’t be easy
To paraphrase Sun Tzu - know yourself, know your enemy and you'll be victorious in 100 battles. Set out the likely hurdles on the path to qutting and it'll be easier to overcome them.
44. Write all your reasons for quitting on index cards
Make some index cards with all your many and varied reasons for quitting and keep them on you. When cravings hit, a quick flash will remind you why you stopped.
45. Stop buying packets of cigarettes
To avoid the trap of 'just one more' - in the lead-up to quitting, buy your cigs in increasingly smaller amounts as having spares handy will only encourage you to have one.Quit Smoking Tip #44 Stop buying packets of cigarettes - To avoid the trap of just one more - buy your cigs in increasingly smaller amountsClick To Tweet
46. Prepare a list of things to do when a craving hits
Coping strategies are important, so make sure you've got yours to hand when the time strikes.
47. Quit when you’re in a good mood
Trying to quit when you're worried, stressed or have other stuff going on in your life is a recipe for disaster. Try and get your life settled before taking on a heavyweight contender like smoking.
48. Think of difficult things you have done in the past
Willpower is finite, but you can give yourself a boost by recalling difficult challenges you've overcome in the past.
49. Picture yourself playing tennis
Humans are creatures of habit, so break out of your routine by imagining yourself playing tennis - or if you can, just go have a game instead.
50. Different brand & hand
Before your quit date, shock yourself out of your routine by foregoing your usual brand and smoking using a different hand.
51. Look at pics of your kids
After all, you're doing it for them. If you don't have kids - try other family members or even pets.
52. Do a crossword puzzle
Idle hands are the devil's playthings and so is an idle mind. Keep yours busy by tackling a particularly challenging crossword puzzle.
53. Remind yourself of the benefits
Just like you did with the reasons why you stopped, write up some of the benefits of quitting and keep them to hand. Every day you're smoke-free is better for your body, so make sure you have the means to keep that in mind.Quit Smoking Tip #52 Remind yourself of the benefits - write up some of the benefits of quitting and keep them to handClick To Tweet
54. Look for other tips!
We have most tips to quit smoking here but there are always more! Here’s some other great lists that we thought were really useful.
- Ten unusual quit smoking tips
- 10 self-help tips to stop smoking
- Quit Day - 5 Steps
- Allen Carr's top tips on how to stop smoking
55. Make a new playlist and listen to it
Put together a quit smoking playlist filled with tunes that get you get you pumped and put it on whenever your willpower is flagging. There are already some great ones on Spotify:
56. Avoid triggers
You know the situations that you associate most strongly with smoking, so make plans to avoid them and the battle to quit will be easier to win.
57. Read a book
A good book can be engrossing enough to take your mind off smoking very effectively.
58. Read other people's stories for inspiration
It's good to talk, and knowing people have been through the same things as you will be invaluable when it comes to winning your own personal fight. There's a fair few UK-based forums or you can head to popular international websites like Reddit.
59. Follow people quitting on Twitter
You're not the only one trying to quit! There are plenty of people quitting and plenty of other companies trying to help. Just join the conversation on Twitter with:#quitsmoking
60. Just say YES!
Some people can quit just on willpower alone. If you need help that’s just as good. As long as you just say "Yes, today is the day I quit”.
61. Find a healthy snack food you can carry with you
Nicotine suppresses your appetite and it's common for those who've recently quit to put on a few rebound pounds. Preparation is the key to avoiding this and you should make sure you've stocked the fridge with healthy snacks like berries and (ideally unsalted) nuts.
62. Switch to a cup of herbal tea whenever you usually have a cigarette
Herbal teas like green tea aren't just generally good for you, but can also be a powerful aid when it comes to kicking your smoking habit into touch.
Brewing up whenever you fancy a cig can effectively replace the ritual and sipping a hot drink will help crack down on cravings by making you less antsy.
63. Chew liquorice
Carry some liquorice around for when cravings start to get on top of you. Liquorice can be a great substitute, but only in small doses! Don’t go mad or you will get headaches and other symptoms.
64. Swing by the health food store for some Avena sativa (oat) extract
Research from the 1970s found this herbal extract could help reduce nicotine cravings and assist with the detoxification process after you've quit smoking.
65. Healthier swaps
Carry some dark chocolate around to eat. Every time you'd usually have a smoke, eat some chocolate. Eating a little chocolate is a lot better for you than smoking.
66. Shell some nuts
Shelling some nuts will keep your hands occupied and means you'll have a supply of relatively healthy snacks on hand for when you start plundering the cupboards.
67. Eat more fruit
A Univeristy of Buffalo study surveyed 1,000 people and found that those who ate more fruit and vegetables performed better at abstaining from cigarettes.
Researchers speculated this could be due to the additional fibre intake increasing feelings of fullness, or fruit generally reducing nicotine dependence.
68. Ditch coffee for herbal tea
Coffee and cigarettes are a favoured combination, so try swapping out your daily Joe for a healthy herbal tea. It'll help you to disconnect yourself from cravings, as well as letting you enjoy the health benefits of herbal tea discussed above.
69. Eat crunchy, fresh vegetables
This will help you battle cravings and limit the amount of weight you put on as your post-smoking appetite kicks in.
70. Eat some sweets!
One of the best smoking tips is to reward yourself, but don't go overboard!
71. Chew on a toothpick
It's typical to find yourself fidgety after quitting smoking, so use a wooden toothpick as a stand-in. Just be careful of splinters!
72. Chew gum
Gum is a good tip to curb the cravings. You can even upgrade to nicotine gum to help keep those chemical cravings in check.
73. Avoid alcohol
Alcohol is a well known trigger for smoking and should be avoided. Stay away from alcohol untill you are confortable being around other smokers and not smoking yourelf - "Smokers drink and drinkers smoke"
74. Eat milkbone dog biscuits?
We were not sure about this one, but apparently it works for some people! Just make sure the dog doesnt see you.
75. Bake a cake
Distract yourself from cravings by baking a delicious cake, or a fancy meal with all the trimmings.
76. Make an ice lolly
Another culinary project that'll help put thoughts of smoking far from your mind is home-made ice lollies. These can be made using a variety of delicious ingredients and will give you a tasty snack to show for your efforts after a couple of hours in the freezer.
77. Eat the ice lolly, you just made it after all!
Reward yourself for your hard work with a tasty treat if you get through a hard day.
Friends and family
78. Create a smoke-free zone
While you don't want to be a buzzkill, friends and family will definitely understand if you don't want them flaunting their smoking in your face while you're trying to kick the habit.
79. Tell your friends, co-workers, boss, partner and kids how you feel
Don't keep your feelings bottled up, tell your friends, co-workers and anyone else you interact with on a daily basis that you're trying to quit and how it's going. You might be surprised how often they'll go that extra mile to support you in your goals.
80. Find a friend
Buddy up and find a friend who's also trying to quit. They'll know exactly what you're going through and should be on-hand to help you through the hard times.
81. Call a friend!
If you can't find a friend who's trying to quit, don't be afraid to reach for the phone when things are looking bleak. Having a shoulder to lean on when you're close to breaking point can make all the difference.
82. Write a friend an email
It's good to talk and when you can't do it instantly - writing down your thoughts in an email can be helpful in itself, as well as giving you access to support from friends - even if they're on the other side of the planet.
83. Skype a friend
Skype offers the best of both worlds, letting you connect face-to-face via video chat with a friend no matter the distance.
84. Play games
Whether it's sports, a board game or an online video game - take your mind off your cravings by playing together with friends.
85. Read a story to your kids
Another great way to distract yourself from cravings - just avoid Puff the Magic Dragon.
86. Create a support network
What's better than one friend? Several! Get together with others who are trying to quit and form a support network. Having someone to lean on when times get hard is invaluable when it comes to stopping smoking.
87. Think of the kids!
Just remember you want to be around for their graduation, wedding and eventually, grandkids. In the end, family & friends are one of the biggest driving factors for people to quit. So why not take a minute sit back and think of all the happy times to come now you have stopped smoking.
88. Hug someone!
Embracing someone for a good 20 seconds isn't just comforting, it releases endorphins - your body's natural 'feel-good' chemicals. This should take your mind off smoking.
89. Explore your genealogy
Explore your family history - OK, it's a little random but it's a time-intensive task that's both rewarding and will keep you occupied for days - if not weeks - on end.
90. Join Facebook groups and community forums
Join Facebook groups and forums where people are actively helping each other to quit smoking. These are a great place to talk to others who have been where you are right now. Talk to them, learn from them and use their experience to ditch the habit.
Medical Help to quit smoking
91. See a doctor
See a doctor for help on how to quit - With "higher intensity" interventions you're 22.1% more likely to succeed! These can be in doctor consultations of 10 minutes or less.Quit Smoking Tip #88 - See a doctor for help on how to quit - You are 22.1% more likely to succeed!Click To Tweet
92. Understand smoking withdrawal symptoms
Before setting out - get to grips with what you're going to go through and plan accordingly.
93. Make an appointment with an acupuncturist
Acupuncture can be a great complementary therapy for those trying to quit cigarettes, as well as being highly relaxing in itself.
94. See a smoking therapist
Specialist smoking therapists are trained to deal with all the ups and downs that come with kicking the habit and can drastically increase your chances of success.
95. See a hypnotherapist
Using hypnotherapy to stop smoking is still inconclusive, as it works for some but not others. About 1 in 4 cannot be hypnotised. It's still worth a try if you can kick the habit though!
96. Look at anti-smoking images
Looking at anti-smoking images won't be the deciding factor to quitting smoking but it does deliver a short shock to the system. Take a look at some of the most creative anti smoking ads from the past.
97. Try nicotine patches
Nicotine patches are described as:
"A patch impregnated with nicotine, which is worn on the skin by a person trying to give up smoking. Nicotine is gradually absorbed into the bloodstream, helping reduce the craving for cigarette"
For some people these can be crucial when quitting as it gives them the edge when battling withdrawal symptoms.
98. Try behavioural therapy
Try Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to quit smoking. This is the process of restructuring your thought processes and combining it with new learning behaviours to quit smoking.
99. Watch anti-smoking videos
Another short shock to the system when it comes to stopping smoking. Anti-smoking videos might be enough to make you think twice! Warning: These are not very nice.
100. Try nicotine replacement therapy
Nicotine replacement therapy increases your chances of quitting smoking by about 50%, although it can be quite pricey! Can you put a price on your health?
101. Try a smoking vaccination shot
These injections help to stop you smoking by blocking the nicotine receptors in the brain. Again, it doesn’t work for everyone as it depends on how your body reacts to the shot, but studies have shown an increased chance of quitting after a vaccine has been taken.
102. Read some smoking facts
Read some quit smoking facts and statistics so you can understand the risks if you don't stop smoking today.
E-cigarettes or ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery systems) are a popular alternative to smoking cigarettes. Although you're not totally quitting as the vapour contains some toxicants found in cigarette smoke, they're at much lower levels and considered “better” than traditional smoking.
104. Brush and floss your teeth
Brush and floss your teeth to remove any residual tastes or smells. In old age, smokers have 6 teeth less than non-smokers. It only takes around 2 weeks for your dental blood circulation to return to that of a non-smoker.
105. Look at a smoking recovery timetable
Looking at a smoking recovery timetable can put things into perspective, especially when you see the benefits over long periods of time. Improvements in lung functions and reduced risk of heart attacks can be the difference in later quality of life.
106. Try taking a smoking quiz
Taking a smoking quiz to work out your dependency will be helpful to crack the habit. Knowing how bad your dependency is on nicotine might give you that extra inspiration to quit.
107. Visit support websites
There are plenty of support websites around to help you quit smoking, all with their own list of tips and advice. The NHS even has local stop smoking services that can help you quit.
And if you're looking for expert medical advice or prescription medication to help you stop smoking - hit the button below and talk to an experienced UK GP right now: