Holidays are an exciting time of year, but it can also be overwhelming. Being more social at this time of year is generally a given, and for someone trying to stay smokefree, it can be a challenging time.
In fact, being around friends who smoke and parties/nights out are two smoking triggers that most commonly impact smokers and recent quitters (80% and 76% respectively). So if you’ve recently stopped smoking, the approaching parties or festivities can be a rather daunting prospect… if you don’t have the right tools to help you stay on the smoke free bandwagon. That’s where we come in!
Although it can sometimes be challenging to avoid slip-ups in a social setting, particularly if alcohol is involved, there are some things you can do to give yourself a fighting chance.
Here are our top tips:
- If possible, avoid your smoking friends for the first few days or weeks of quitting.
- Take something to keep your hands busy when you have a craving, like a watch, bracelet, a bottle of water or your phone
- Excuse yourself and go to the bathroom if necessary. Removing yourself temporarily from the situation when a craving hits can be effective as you’re taking yourself out of a risky situation and giving yourself a few minutes for the urge to pass.
- Don’t be afraid to use phrases like “Please don’t offer me cigarettes, I’m quitting”, “No thanks, I don’t smoke” or "I'm a non-smoker".
- Give yourself permission to go home early if it’s getting too tough.
- Be wary of the “just one” thought. It usually leads to full-time smoking again and non-smokers don’t need “just one” anyway.
- Take small steps at first. Try meeting friends at smokefree venues such as the movies or a restaurant.
Remember there is support available. Give Quitline a call on 13 7848, Mon - Fri 8am - 8pm. You can alternatively request a callback using our callback form and a Quitline counsellor will contact you at a time that best suits you. Our Quit counsellors are here to support you with strategies, tips and personalised advice to help you stay quit.