Quitting smoking can be extremely hard for some people. That’s why we have put together this huge stop smoking tips list to inspire you!
When it comes to the question of "how to stop smoking", no two cases are the same.
For instance, some may be 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
Take a look at our list of tips below and stop smoking today!
Stop going 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. 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.
10. 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.
11. Don’t do it!
Going cold turkey isn't for everyone and some smokers going cold turkey may find they're more likely to relapse or cheat!
12. Throw anything out 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.
13. 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!
14. 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.
15. To minimise 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.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. 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.
19. 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.
20. Take a walk
Walking is another great way to get exercise, as well as steer clear of habits that lead you to smoke.
21. 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.
22. Go hiking
It's like walking, but better. Pick somewhere with nice scenery and watch those thoughts of smoking fade away.
23. Go swimming
Taking a dip is a great way to clear your head and will exercise muscles you pretty much never use elsewhere.
24. Take a nap
A quick nap will leave you feeling refreshed, relaxed and not thinking about smoking.
25. 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.
26. Take up yoga
Yoga can help reduce stress and keep you fit, providing a powerful way to beat the cravings.
28. Take the dog for a walk
They'll love it and it'll keep you distracted from smoking.
29. Go for a run
Get a quick hit of endorphins and banish thoughts of smoking.
30. 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.
31. 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.
32. 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 quitting and it'll be easier to overcome them.
33. 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.
34. 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.
35. 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.
36. 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.
37. 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.
38. 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.
39. 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:
40. 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.
41. Read a book
A good book can be engrossing enough to take your mind off smoking very effectively.
42. 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.
43. 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.
44. 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.
45. 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.
46. Eat more fruit
A University 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.
47. 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.
48. Eat some sweets!
One of the best smoking tips is to reward yourself, but don't go overboard!
49. 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.
50. Avoid alcohol
Alcohol is a well known trigger for smoking and should be avoided. Stay away from alcohol until you are comfortable being around other smokers and not smoking yourself - "Smokers drink and drinkers smoke"
Friends and family
51. 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.
52. 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.
53. 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.
54. 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.
55. Read a story to your kids
Another great way to distract yourself from cravings - just avoid Puff the Magic Dragon.
56. 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.
57. 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.
58. 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.
59. 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
60. 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.
61. Understand smoking withdrawal symptoms
Before setting out - get to grips with what you're going to go through and plan accordingly.
62. 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.
63. 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.
64. 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!
65. 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.
66. 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.
67. 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.
68. 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?
69. 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.
70. 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.
72. 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.
73. 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.
74. 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.
Need help quitting smoking?
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: