Resisting the urge to smoke during the COVID-19 pandemic

Quitting smoking is difficult and times of uncertainty can make it tougher to stay on track. Here are some things that might help.
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Giving up smoking is tough. It can be something that people turn to when times are stressful but it’s important to stay on track so you can continue to see the health benefits of quitting.

Staying on track and resisting the urge to smoke

Make a plan to help beat cravings

More than likely your daily life has changed due to the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. If you are feeling anxious about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) it may be more difficult for you to resist the urge to have a cigarette. Make a plan to help beat cravings that fits in with your daily life at the moment. You could write down a few people you can ring when you are struggling with cravings or distract yourself by going for a walk while following current social distancing guidelines. You could also use the 4 Ds – Distract, Delay, Deep Breathe and Do something else or take a look at our suggestions for smoke-free stress busters.

Avoid triggers

Make sure to get rid of anything that reminds you of smoking in your home such as lighters or empty packets. If someone you live with is a smoker explain to them that this can be triggering for you and you would appreciate it if they could keep them out of sight. If there are parts of your new routine, while following social distancing guidelines, that remind you of smoking, try and change them if possible to include something else. Read more on coping with smoking triggers here.

Remind yourself why you decided to quit

There are many reasons people may quit smoking. Take some time to think about what these reasons were. Write them down somewhere and leave them out in your home for you to see during the day or where you will see them when your cravings appear most. Having these reasons written down should help you focus and remind you of the benefits of continuing to not smoke.

Don’t let setbacks derail you

We are in a difficult and uncertain situation that none of us expected. If you do have a slight setback when it comes to quitting don’t be too hard on yourself. Quitting smoking is a process and you will have ups and down. Don’t allow a setback to put you off all the work you have done before now on giving up smoking. Keep going and take each day as it comes. Every cigarette free day that you have is a success for you in the long run.

Feeling overwhelmed or anxious about the current pandemic?

This situation is completely new to everyone involved and it is normal to feel worried or anxious about what is going on. Following the Government’s instructions on how to stay safe and help slow the spread of the virus, can help to make you feel more in control.

If you feel overwhelmed by the current situation and need someone to talk to, our anonymous, 24 hour text line is always open. You’re worth talking about and we’re here to listen and support you.

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