5 Tips to Stay Cigarette-Free this Holiday Season

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

Dr. Howell

It’s Holiday season again. It’s the time of the year that you get to spend more quality time with friends and family. And for some, this means parties and drinking sprees. But what if you just quit smoking or just started with your smoking cessation program?

Alcohol practically lowers your inhibitions, and that is not good for someone who is trying to quit smoking. While intoxicated with alcohol, it’s normal for you to think that smoking “one cigarette” or “just for tonight” is tolerable and that you can simply resume your smoking cessation Celebrating-Christmas-6310652program tomorrow. But that “one cigarette” can ruin all your efforts to quit.


It is important that you plan ahead and device a strategy when attending holiday parties and events to stay smoke-free. Preparation strengthens your determination and allows you to handle the challenges that may come this Holiday season. Below are 5 things you can do to stay smoke-free when attending holiday events and parties.

Avoid drinking entirely. This is the most obvious and the simplest first choice you have. Don’t drink if you doubt your confidence not to smoke. You can drink water or any non-alcoholic drink instead.


Stay within your limits. Drinking is not bad, but make sure you observe moderation. Always know your limits. Drink a glass of water or lemonade in-between alcoholic beverages. It helps dilute the alcohol in your body and keeps you hydrated.

Design an escape route. When your friends start smoking and it bothers you, be ready to execute your escape route. If you can’t ask them to refrain from smoking because you just have recently quit smoking, excuse yourself for a minute to go in the bathroom or you go outside to breathe some fresh air. And when your cravings kick, try to quickly interrupt your thoughts until you snap out of the thought of smoking.

Don’t attend at all. This is quite the extreme, but totally helpful if you really can’t trust yourself not to smoke when drinking. This doesn’t mean, however, that you’ll stop living a life –  it only means that you’re setting your priorities. Quitting smoking takes a lot of effort and time to be able to succeed. You may want to keep it on top of your priorities at all times. Anyway, you can always attend these events next year when you’re more prepared and confident about your determination to quit smoking for good and when drinking no longer triggers you to light up.

Think of the benefits and reasons why you quit smoking.

Don’t forget about the bigger picture why you want to quit. It’s holiday season but things that are at stake are the same as the things since the day you decided to quit – good health and a safer environment for your kids and family. Take a deep breath and try to refresh your memory of the benefits of quitting smoking.

Drinking and the early stage of quitting smoking don’t mix well. It is very important to keep yourself together especially when trying to live a smoke-free life. Alcohol only puts you at a greater risk for relapse. You may want to give yourself the best possible ambiance for success as you go through this Holiday season. Always remember to keep your smoking cessation program on top of your priorities and do whatever it takes to uphold it.



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