Socialising when quitting smoking
Socialising can be tricky when you are giving up smoking. But it’s important not to stop socialising. Staying home on your own is likely to make you feel negative about your decision to quit.
In the first couple of weeks, it’s a good idea to socialise in non-smoking settings such as a restaurant or cinema and to spend time socialising with non-smokers. But that isn’t always possible, so it’s important to have some strategies in place for when you find yourself out and about.
Tips for socialising when quitting smoking
- Ask your smoking friends not smoke around you, offer you a cigarette or invite you to come with them for a cigarette. Watching someone else smoke, smelling the smoke from their cigarette or even seeing the packet can trigger a craving.
- Ask your non-smoking friends to support you when you are out so you don’t give into cravings.
- Go somewhere new and unfamiliar that you don’t associate with smoking.
- Have a fast-acting form of nicotine replacement therapy with you such as gum or a lozenge so you are prepared when you feel a craving coming on.
- Download a game to your phone that you can focus on until the craving goes away.
- Keep some paper clips or coins in your pocket that you can play with to keep your hands busy.
- The association between drinking and smoking can be very strong for some people. Alcohol can weaken your self-control, making you more likely to give in to a cigarette. You may want to stop drinking alcohol for the first few weeks. If you are going to drink alcohol, keep an eye on how much you consume so you don’t drink too much.
- Don’t let thoughts creep in about having ‘just one’ cigarette – often ‘just one’ will lead you straight back to being a smoker.
- If it’s all becoming too challenging, grab a cab home. You are saving money by not smoking, so you can afford it.
Ways to quit smoking
Having strategies for managing social situations is just one aspect of quitting smoking. It’s valuable to plan your attempt and choose a method that suits you. Check out the options on the ‘Quit your way’ page.