40 Ways to Give
If you want to
quit, pick and choose from this list of 40 ways that have
helped others give up cigarettes (compiled hy the National
1. List all the reasons
you want to quit. Every night before going to bed, repeat one of
the reasons 10 times. Try to avoid negative thoughts about how
difficult it might be.
2. Develop strong personal
reasons in addition to your health and obligations to others. For
example, think of all the time you waste taking cigarette breaks,
rushing out to buy a pack, hunting for a light, etc.
3. Set a target date for
quitting (i.e., your birthday, anniversary). If you smoke heavily
at work, quit during vacation so you're already committed to
quitting when you return. Don't let anything change your date.
4. Bet a friend you can
quit on your target date. Put your cigarette money aside every
day and forfeit it if you smoke. (But if you do smoke, don't give
up; strengthen your resolve and try again.) Ask your spouse or a
friend to quit with you.
5. Smoke only half of each
6. Each day, postpone
lighting your first cigarette one hour.
7. Decide you'll smoke
only during odd or even hours of the day.
8. Decide beforehand how
many cigarettes you'll smoke during the day. For each additional
cigarette, give a dollar to charity. 9. Change your eating habits
to help you cut down. End meals or snacks with something that
won't lead to a cigarette.
10. Don't empty your
ashtrays. This will remind you of how many cigarettes you've
smoked each day, and the sight and smell of stale butts will be
11. Make yourself aware of
each cigarette by using the opposite hand or putting cigarettes
in an unfamiliar location or in a different pocket to break this
12. If you often light up
without thinking about it, try to look in a mirror each time you
put a match to your cigarette. You may decide you don't need it.
13. Keep very busy on the
first day. Go to the movies, exercise, take long walks, go bike
14. Clean your clothes to
rid them of the cigarette smell, which can linger a long time.
15. Throw away all your
cigarettes and matches. Hide your lighters and ashtrays.
16. Visit the dentist and
have your teeth cleaned to get rid of tobacco stains. Notice how
nice they look. Resolve to keep them that way.
17. Make a list of things
you'd like to buy for yourself or someone else. Estimate the cost
in terms of packs of cigarettes, and put the money aside to buy
18. Develop a clean,
fresh, nonsmoking environment at work and at home. Buy yourself
flowers. You may he surprised how much you can enjoy their scent
19. The first few days
after you quit, spend as much free time as possible in places
where smoking isn't allowed, such as libraries, museums,
theaters, department stores, and churches.
20. Drink lots of water.
21. Try to avoid alcohol,
coffee, and other beverages you associate with cigarette smoking.
22. Strike up a
conversation instead of a match.
23. If you miss the
sensation of having a cigarette in your hand, play with something
else a pencil, paper clip, or marble.
24. If you miss having
something in your mouth, try toothpicks or a fake cigarette.
25. Instead of smoking
after meals, get up from the table and brush your teeth or go for
26. If you always smoke
while driving, listen to an interesting radio program or your
favorite music or take public transportation for a while, if you
27. For the first few
weeks, avoid situations you strongly associate with the
pleasurable aspects of smoking, such as watching your favorite TV
program, sitting in your favorite chair, or having a cocktail
28. If you must be in a
situation where you'll be tempted to smoke (such as a cocktail
party or dinner party), try to associate with nonsmokers.
29. Analyze cigarette ads
to understand how they attempt to sell you on individual brands.
30. Change your habits to
make smoking difficult or impossible. For example, it's hard to
smoke when you're swimming, jogging, or playing tennis or
handball. When your desire for a cigarette is intense, wash your
hands or the dishes, or try new recipes.
31. Do things that require
you to use your hands. Try crossword puzzles, needlework,
gardening, or household chores. Go bike riding. Take the dog for
a walk. Give yourself a manicure. Write letters.
32. Enjoy having a
clean-mouth taste and keep it by brushing your teeth frequently
and using mouthwash.
33. Stretch a lot.
34. Get plenty of rest.
35. Pay attention to your
appearance. Look and feel sharp.
36. Try to find time for
activities that are the most meaningful, satisfying, and
important to you.
37. Keep oral substitutes
handy. Try carrots, pickles, apples, celery, or sugarless gum
instead of a cigarette.
38. Take 10 deep breaths
and hold the last one while lighting a match. Exhale slowly and
blow out the match. Pretend it's a cigarette and crush it out in
39. Take a shower or bath
40. Learn to relax quickly
and deeply. Make yourself limp, visualize a soothing, pleasing
situation and get away from it all for a moment. Concentrate on
that peaceful image and nothing else.