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Tips for Going Out When You’re Trying Not to Smoke

Many people find that going out and socializing with friends may trigger the urge to smoke. While on a quitting tobacco journey, it may be tough to break the habit of lighting up a cigarette with friends. Knowing how to not feed the urge to smoke in social gatherings can be extremely useful and good for both your mental and physical health. Spending as much time as possible outdoors in non smoking environments is one of the recommendations given by the American Cancer Society. In this blog post we will go over useful quit smoking strategies to help you move forward and meet your goals.

Here is a list of helpful coping strategies compiled by Verywell Mind for when the urge to smoke arises:

  • Wait. When you feel like breaking your smoke-free commitment, tell yourself that you have to wait at least 10 minutes before you act on the craving. In many cases, the worst of the urge may have passed by the time those 10 minutes are up.
  • Make rules. Set rules that you have to follow before you allow yourself to smoke a cigarette. In addition to waiting 10 minutes, you might set a rule that you have to walk a mile, eat a celery stick, or chew a piece of gum before you can smoke. Once you have done this, the urge to smoke will have likely lessened enough that you can resist it.
  • Distract yourself. Taking your mind off of your craving can help you get a handle on your feelings before you give in. Walk around for a few minutes, chat with a friend, play on your phone, or look for things in your environment that can take your mind off of things for a while.
  • Remember your reasons for quitting. Whenever your resolve begins to slip, list your reasons for quitting. You might even find it helpful to keep a list of these reasons on a slip of paper inside your wallet or saved as a note on your phone. Your reasons are unique to you, but some of the benefits to consider include having more energy, better health, and fewer cravings. Seeing these reasons in front of you can help you stay motivated, even in the face of temptations.
  • Call or text a friend. Have at least one friend who knows about your smoke-free choice and who can offer support when you need it most. If you are really struggling with an urge when you are out, talking to a friend can help get you through difficult moments.

Remember that quitting smoking for good is possible, it may take a little support but it is possible. Speak with your health care provider or counselor if you find yourself struggling with nicotine withdrawals, they can help you to find better alternative treatments or give useful advice.

The Minnesota State Legislature is assessing a proposal to end sales of all flavored tobacco products that appeal to the youth. Polls show that 62% of Minnesotans support the proposal, and 33% are in opposition. Learn more about the flavor ban at:



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