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News » Filed under: Smoking/Tobacco

New Ex-Smoker? Try These Tips to Stay Quit Over the Holidays

Article date: November 30, 2007

Don't Let Stress Send You Back to the Pack

 

 
 

As anyone who has tried to quit smoking before knows, nicotine is a powerfully addictive drug and relapse is common, particularly in times of stress or in environments that remind you of smoking. The holiday season offers a double whammy to quitters as it combines both of these risks. But by following these tips, you can celebrate the season without giving in and lighting up:

Idle hands...

Keep yourself busy. Consider hosting the family dinner to keep yourself occupied. If you're no cook, challenge yourself to make a dish to take with you.

In all things moderation…

Don't go overboard with the holiday feasting. Overdo the eating and the drinking, and it's easy to give in to other temptations.

Skip the alcohol …

Stick to club soda, punch without alcohol, or apple cider. This will curb the urge to light up when drinking, and it can also help keep off unwanted extra pounds.

Sugar and spice, not so nice …

Experts say spicy and sugary foods can enhance the cravings for cigarettes. So just say no.

Snack smarter…

Low-calorie snacks like carrot sticks and apples can satisfy the munchies without packing on extra pounds. Eat slowly and pause between bites to make meals more satisfying.

Your treat …

To celebration staying quit, why not treat yourself to a special something you have always wanted? It doesn't need to be anything extravagant necessarily, but it should be a real reward for a real accomplishment.

Keep cool …

Avoid stress like you avoid a lit cigarette. A marathon mall session will tax anyone's nerves, so don't wait until the last minute to shop. Try to keep calm in spite of frustrating lines, traffic, or sales clerks. This relaxation exercise can help: Take a deep breath, hold it for a second, then release it very slowly. Remember, the urge to smoke is only temporary. It will pass.

Get moving …

Physical activity, such as walking, running, and racquet sports, helps relieve tension and the urge to smoke. Exercise will also help burn off any extra pounds.

Turn to friends for help…

If you're thinking about reaching for a cigarette, reach for help instead. Ask your friends and family to encourage the new nonsmoking you, look into a formal support group, visit Nicotine Anonymous, or get in touch with a Quit For Life® program. And don't forget, you can always find support and information at your American Cancer Society, Just call 1-800-ACS-2345, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

 

Reviewed by: Members of the ACS Medical Content Staff


ACS News Center stories are provided as a source of cancer-related news and are not intended to be used as press releases.

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