Switch to decaf until you’ve been cigarette-free for two months.
Too much caffeine while quitting can cause the jitters. (Here's what to do if you do end up with the jitters.)
Think of difficult things you have done in the past.
Ask people who know you well to remind you of challenges you have successfully overcome, says Dr. Lieberman. This will give you the necessary self-confidence to stick with your pledge not to smoke. (Here are some science-backed ways to boost your self-confidence.)
Find a healthy snack food you can carry with you.
In place of smoking cigarettes, try sunflower seeds, sugar-free lollipops, or gum, or carrot or celery sticks if you're concerned about weight gain. You can also switch your cigarette habit for a nut habit, and eat four nuts in their shell for every cigarette you want to smoke. This way, you're using your hands and your mouth, getting the same physical and oral sensations you get from smoking. (Here are some healthy, guilt-free snacks!)
Switch to a cup of herbal tea whenever you usually have a cigarette.
The act of brewing the tea and slowing sipping it as it cools will provide the same stress relief as a hit of nicotine. Or carry cinnamon-flavored toothpicks and suck on one whenever a cig craving hits. (Tea is great for SO many other things, too!)
Instead of a cigarette break at work, play a game of solitaire on your computer.
It takes about the same time and is much more fun (although, like cigarettes, it can get addictive). If your company prohibits games like that, find another five-minute diversion: a phone call, a stroll, or eating a piece of fruit outdoors (but not where smokers congregate).
Picture yourself playing tennis.
Or go play tennis. British researchers found volunteers trying to quit smoking were better able to ignore their urges to smoke when they were told to visualize a tennis match. (Plus, tennis is really good for you!)
Create a smoke-free zone.
Don’t allow anyone to use tobacco in your home, car, or even while sitting next to you in a restaurant. Make actual “No Smoking” signs and hang them around your house and in your car. (Here's how to get that cigarette smell out of your home.)
Post this list in a visible location in your house.
Whenever you’re tempted to light up, take a look at all the ways smoking can damage your health:
• Increases risk of lung, bladder, pancreatic, mouth, esophageal, and other cancers, including leukemia
• Increases risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure
• Increases risk of diabetes
• Reduces levels of folate, low levels of which can increase the risk of heart disease, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease
• Affects mental capacity and memory
• Contributes to thin bones
• Increases likelihood of impotence
• Reduces fertility
• Affects ability to smell and taste
• Results in low-birth-weight, premature babies
• Increases risk of depression in adolescents
• Increases your child’s risk of obesity and diabetes later in life if you smoked while pregnant
To minimize cravings, change your routine.
Sit in a different chair at breakfast or take a different route to work. If you usually have a drink and cigarette after work, change that to a walk. If you’re used to a smoke with your morning coffee, switch to tea, or stop at Starbucks for a cup of java—the chain is smoke-free. (You might even work better in coffee shops!)
Swing by the health food store for some Avena sativa (oat) extract.
One study found that, taken at 1 milliliters four times daily, it helped habitual tobacco smokers significantly decrease the number of cigarettes they smoked.