Grey skies and spending more time indoors can be gloomy for anyone, and might make winter an especially tough time for quitters.
But it’s not all bad news. In a survey of 483 adult smokers who were trying to quit, 80% said that support (note that they didn't say nagging!) from others is very important to successfully quitting smoking1 – and winter is an ideal time to hang out together and offer some extra support.
Why not try keeping your quitter busy with these simple, practical activities that will keep you both feeling toasty warm?
Enjoy healthy winter snacks
Along with the urge to hold a cigarette in their hands, quitters often have the twin urge to put something in their mouth.2What’s more, many quitters are worried they’ll put on a few kilos if they quit smoking3 – this may be especially true during winter when comfort food is top of the menu. The solution? Help your quitter make some healthy snacks to keep pesky habits and hunger pangs at bay. See our 7 healthy snacks to distract you from cigarette cravings for some quick and easy ideas.
Thanks to the rise of the hipster, activities that your grandma probably enjoyed, like knitting and crocheting, are back in vogue. They’re a fabulous way to keep your quitter’s hands busy and warm during winter. Plus, research published in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy reveals knitting can contribute to better wellbeing and quality of life.4
Catch up over a hot drink
Is there anything better than cosying up with a hot drink on a chilly day? Research suggests that caffeine-containing drinks and alcohol can trigger tobacco cravings during quit attempts and enhance the taste of cigarettes5, so offer your quitter a mug of hot chocolate or herbal tea instead. Suggest meeting at their favourite café or invite them over to your place to catch up over a hot drink.
Have a lazy night in
If it’s just too cold to dress up and go out, offer to head over to your quitter’s house for a movie or games night. Get under a warm blanket with the aforementioned healthy snacks and hot drinks and check in with your quitter. How is their quitting journey going so far? If it seems like they’re struggling, encourage them to see their doctor to help create a quit plan, which could make them up to 4x more likely to succeed in quitting compared with quitting unaided.6