Staying Cigarette-Free Over the Holidays: 10 Smart Tips

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

Dr. Howell

They say quitting smoking is much easier than staying quit, especially during the holiday season. Surely, there will be lots of fun, socializing, eating and drinking. Most likely, having a cigarette or two becomes very appealing too.

1.  Be the host!

Being the party host may sound overwhelming. But if you are an ex-smoker who wants to prevent a relapse, you will find this a good idea. Shopping, cooking, decorating and sending invitations can take a lot of your time. When you are occupied, you are also likely to forget about smoking.

 2.  Keep yourself busy even during the party time.

Spend more time preparing the foods in the kitchen and entertaining your guests. Bartending, serving meals, and reaching out to the guests’ needs will certainly keep your mind off from smoking.

 3.  Don’t overdo it.

Don’t ever forget to take some rest. Being the party host can be severely exhausting. If you don’t rest, your stress levels will go up and you are likely to experience anxiety (even depression). These negative emotions are powerful enough to make you crave for cigarettes.

 4.  Avoid drinking alcohol.


This might sound boring but you may want to stick to fruit juice, sugar-free seltzer or alcohol-free punch. Drinking alcoholic beverages can bolster your cravings for cigarettes. When alcohol starts to intoxicate your body and make you tipsy, you may no longer be able to resist smoking.

 5.  Stretch out meals.


Eat slowly and pause after every bite so you can savor the food. Aside from this, stretching out meals will also prevent you from smoking, not to mention keeping extra pounds off! Remember, when you are full, you are likely to reach out for a cigarette.

 6.  Avoid too much sweet and spicy food.

Sugary treats like licorice, chocolates, candy bars and pudding don’t just add a few inches to your waistline; they also make you crave for more cigarettes.

 7.  Treat yourself with something special.

So you can’t drink alcohol, eat more sweet, spicy and oily foods. That doesn’t mean you can no longer enjoy the holiday! Treat yourself. Give yourself a very special gift this Christmas. Surely, by not smoking, you would have saved plenty of money!

 8.  Picture your success.

If this is the first time you’ll be having holidays without cigarettes, it’s normal to feel anxious and overwhelmed. But always think about your future. Imagine a cigarette-free life. Next year and the following years, you will find holidays even more enjoyable even without cigarettes.

 9.   Clear your mind.

Any additional frustration can intensify your cravings for cigarettes. So free yourself from worries and don’t let negative emotions overwhelm you.

 10.   Distract yourself when craving is taking too much of your energy.


Take a book or magazine with you that you can read anytime you feel bored. Chew a gum, nibble on fruits and vegetables, watch a movie, experiment on a new dish, etc. Keeping yourself distracted will help you forget smoking.


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