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5 simple ways to keep your mind off smoking (from people who've quit)

Practical tips on how to distract yourself and create new routines in order to stop smoking, from people who've done it!

"I started having hot water with lemon each morning instead of tea or coffee and made myself have a shower as soon as I woke up, no matter what. These little things help because they remind you that you are living/about to live a different kind of life. A better life. You can do it!" - Peta

Second by second, minute by minute

"I prepared myself mentally by telling myself that if I felt like a cigarette, I would give in only after 20 seconds and then another 5 seconds and so on. Seconds turned into minutes, minutes into hours. You get the picture." - Keith

Pumpkin seeds

"This might sound weird but I ate pumpkin seeds every time I felt like having a cigarette, it helped me forget about going out for a cigarette and also kept my hands busy. I quit cold turkey and re-learned how to do things like have a coffee without a cigarette." – Jane

2 bonus tips from Quitline counsellors

We also asked a couple of our Quitline counsellors for their best tips on how to work your way through a craving or relax your mind and body during a stressful time:

Peel away

Create a new downtime distraction by eating a piece of fruit that keeps your hands busy – an orange, grapefruit or apple for example, take a bit of time to peel.

Touch can relax your mind and body

Why you should do it:
Touch activates the parasympathetic nervous system which can help to regulate your immune system and much more. Touch stimulates the release of oxytocin and that can lower stress hormone levels.

How to do it:
Pat your pet, give yourself a head massage or rub in some fragrant hand or body cream.


Explore other support options

There are a range of support options available to help you quit.

Free Quit Support

Calling the Quitline increases your chance of quitting successfully.
Quitline counsellors are trained to listen carefully to you to help meet your needs.

Free Tools