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Staying smoke free during the holidays

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 quit, 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”, or “No thanks, I don’t smoke”.
  • 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.  You can even request a callback at a time that best suits you. Our Quit Specialists are here to support you with strategies, tips and personalised advice to help you stay quit. 

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