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5 simple ways to keep your mind off smoking or vaping

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

A new morning routine

"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 can help to regulate your immune system. It also leads to the release of a hormone called oxytocin which can lower stress levels.

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

Quitline is here to help

Quitline counsellors can offer you free advice and support to help you stop smoking and/or vaping. They can help you think of ways to keep your mind off smoking or vaping, and encourage you throughout your quit journey. Quitline counsellors can also support you if you are using vapes to stop smoking. 

There are many ways to get in touch with Quitline 13 7848, including webchat, Messenger and more: 

Ways to get in touch

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 March 2024 

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