Quitting For Youth
Quitting tobacco use – Why not?
If you are a tobacco user and want to quit, there are different ways to make this happen.
- Determine what is keeping you from quitting
- Figure out your triggers and how to handle them.
- Find support and encouragement from a family member or friend.
- Call 1-800-QUIT NOW or quit online using a web coach
What is keeping you from quitting?
What situations make smoking or other tobacco use more tempting even when you are trying to quit?
People who have successfully quit smoking or using tobacco products report certain circumstances and activities, or triggers that tempt them to return to their old habits. Common triggers include:
- Being around other smokers, such as friends, family members and co-workers
- Feeling anxious or tense
- Feeling sad or depressed
- Drinking beer, wine or mixed drinks
- Drinking coffee or tea
- After meals at home, work or at a restaurant
- Being bored or waiting for someone or something
- Driving a car or traveling s a passenger
- Going through a typical morning routine (since many smokers “light up” when they wake up)
How can you handle a trigger?
- If you are in a group and others light up, go somewhere else until they finish their cigarettes. When others are smoking, it is tempting to join them. By leaving and not returning until they have finished, you are more likely to follow your quit plan.
- Think of what you are gaining by quitting (such as a healthy body, fresh breath, better smelling, more money). It is easy to focus on the negative aspects of quitting. For instance, you may miss the “alert” feeling you got from cigarettes. By reminding yourself of the positives of quitting, such as being able to cling a flight of stairs without becoming winded, you will find it easier to stay on track.
- Take a walk, soak in a hot bath, or work on a project to distract yourself from the urge to smoke. Many people who are trying to quit smoking say that they feel more anxious. Because anxiety is measured as an increase in muscle tension, doing these types of activities may serve as a distraction as well as help you relax.
- Drink non-alcoholic beverages and stay away from places where you usually drink alcohol (for a while). When drinking alcoholic beverages, many people experience a strong urge to smoke. By switching to nonalcoholic drinks and avoiding places that served you alcohol in the past, you can avoid this trigger.
- Address your feeling by increasing physical activity, writing down goals, or determining how much money you will save by not purchasing tobacco products. Adding these activities to your schedule as part of your quit plan will help to improve your mood and prevent boredom and depression, two common triggers.
- Switch to decaffeinated beverages for a period of time. When trying to quit, you may feel more irritable and nervous. Because consuming caffeine can affect you the same way, try avoiding it for a while.
- Know what foods increase your urge to smoke and stay away from them. You may notice that smoking urges are stronger when you eat certain things, such as spicy foods and sweets. By avoiding these trigger foods, you are more likely to follow your quit plan.
- Try nibbling on healthy foods to keep your hands busy. For many people, smoking gives them something to do – especially when they are drinking coffee or tea. When you feel an urge to occupy your hands, try doodling on a scratch pad or nibbling on healthy foods.
- Remove the ashtray, lighter, and cigarettes from your car. Like many people, you may like to smoke on your way to and from work or school to relieve stress, stay alert, or just pass the time. By removing these items from your car, you can help to avoid this trigger.
- Turn on your radio, turn on your MP3 player or iPod and sing along. Listening to music may help you to avoid becoming bored. Because boredom is a common trigger, you may want to add these types of enjoyable activities to your quit plan.
- Ask others for help in your quit attempt. Quitting is difficult, but with support from friends and loved ones, it can be easier. Ask others to help you by distracting you from trigger events and by not smoking around you. You may also want to contact 1-800-QUIT NOW and talk with a trained quit coach for additional support.
- Find more helpful information at teen.smokefree.gov.
- Receive SmokefreeTXT – Text QUIT to IQUIT (47848)
What are you waiting for? Call 1-800-QUIT NOW or Click to Quit and let's get started.
Adapted from National Cancer Institute