10 Strategies to Stay Focused when Quitting Smoking

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

Dr. Howell

Stopping smoking may be easy, but staying quit-free can be challenging. It’s good to know though that there are easy strategies to help you stay on track in your journey towards a cigarette-free life!




  1. Learn about quitting smoking. Search the web, talk to a smoking cessation specialist, and read books on quitting smoking. You need all the information about this process, especially how to resist nicotine cravings, deal with stress and overcome the withdrawal symptoms.
  2. Get all the help you can. Join a support group or an online community. Work with a doctor. Seek support from your friends and family. Motivate yourself by reading about the success stories of former smokers.
  3. Remember that with every cigarette you don’t light, you are making a great change in your health. Smoking increases your risk of heart disease, cancer, and other serious illnesses. Every time, you feel the urge to light up, think about how it can destroy your health and shorten your life.
  4. Find someone to confide with. Don’t underestimate the power of talk therapy. Whether it’s your mom, your dad, partner, spouse, child, or a friend, find someone you can count on and be open with. Someone who will listen about your experiences in quitting smoking.
  5. Clean up the mess. Take away everything that reminds you of smoking, such as ash trays, empty cigarette packs, and the like. Make your house or office a health-friendly environment. Keep it clean and fresh as it adds to your sense of well-being and helps reduce your stress.
  6. Find healthy outlets for your cigarette cravings. Instead of smoking, chew a low-calorie gum, nibble on fresh carrots, think about something else, watch a movie, go to a smoke-free place, drink cold water, get a massage, or exercise. Do something that you enjoy and relaxes you.
  7. Think like you’ve never smoked your whole life. Think about how happy and healthy being a non-smoker is. Think about having a day free from smoker’s cough, tension, irritability, and anxiety.
  8. Practice self-compassion. When you love yourself, you won’t do anything that will harm your body. Your body is the most precious gift God has given you. Don’t damage or destroy it by smoking.
  9. Don’t forget to reward yourself. Not smoking for days, weeks and months call for a celebration. Invite your friends or family for a healthy dinner or treat yourself in the spa. Pamper yourself from time to time so you don’t get stressed.
  10. Try and try and try. Quitting smoking is sometimes a process of ‘trial-and-error’. Even after several weeks or months of not smoking, you may still find yourself lighting up. But don’t give up. Focus on your goal and you will achieve it. Just remember these tips and strategies and keep applying them in your daily life.

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