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I can’t survive without my first smoke or vape

The first cigarette or vape of the day can be the hardest one to give up.

But if you mix up your morning routine you can reduce the urge to have that first smoke or vape.

If you normally smoke or vape when you first wake up, try having a shower or eating breakfast instead.

It might feel strange at first, but after a few weeks it should start to feel normal.

Distracting yourself like this is a good strategy for any time you feel like a cigarette or vape:

  • Use our online Distract me tool

  • Use the 4Ds:

    • Delay acting on the craving for 5 minutes and it will usually pass. 

    • Deep breathe to promote a calm and relaxed feeling. 

    • Drink water to help flush out toxins and chemicals. 

    • Do something else, to distract your mind and body: play a game on your phone, do some exercise, brush your teeth, try a crossword, go for a walk or call a friend. These are ideal ways to fill the times when you’d normally smoke or vape. 

  • Switch your morning drink. If you normally have coffee first thing, switch to tea, or hot lemon water.

  • Speak with your doctor or pharmacist about medication that may help you with nicotine withdrawals. If you smoke, nicotine replacement therapy or prescribed stop smoking medications can help with feelings of withdrawal. If you vape, it's best to talk with your doctor or pharmacist for what may be suitable for you.

  • Use Quitline! Quitline counsellors can help get you through those tricky moments. If you add Quitline to the above strategies, you'll have an ever better chance of quitting for good. See ways to contact Quitline here.

Once you’re aware of the habits, routines and emotions that trigger your smoking or vaping, you can start to develop ways of tackling them without cigarettes or vapes.

Please note,this information is for general use only.  Please consult your health professional for further advice.  

If you would like to provide feedback, please contact 

Last updated February 2024

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