Quitting smoking is a big achievement and staying smoke free is a long-term commitment. For continued support along the way, it’s easy to put together a Quit Kit to keep you, a friend or loved one, distracted when you get the urge to smoke.
You don't need to break the bank to design a kit that offers alternatives to picking up a smoke, you just need a bit of time and creativity. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Some smokers might miss the feeling of having something in their mouth, and could try chewing on a toothpick, coffee stirrer or a straw as an alternative.
Someone who’s trying to quit smoking may have spent a lot of time holding a cigarette. After quitting, their hands might feel restless. Help keep hands busy, with a pen, straw, or stress ball.
Quitting smoking can affect people’s mood and may lead to restless or irritable feelings.1
Ideas like incense, a candle, some relaxing bubble bath or shower gel, or a pack of herbal tea such as peppermint or chamomile, may help people cope and provide a new way to chill out.2,3
Include a journal or calendar in your Quit Kit, so you, your friend or family member can track their progress, plan rewards or just doodle during tough moments.4 Add a personal touch, with a card telling them how proud you are of them, or a reminder to yourself of why you wanted to quit smoking.
Crunchy and nutritious snacks, like nuts, are a healthy distraction to turn to when the urge to smoke strikes. Cracking nuts keep your hands busy too!2.
A new water bottle is also a handy distraction that helps people stay hydrated.
Combine all of these helpful items into one convenient goody bag, like a small cosmetic purse or pencil case, which is easy to carry at all times.
Every Quit Kit will be different. Putting together a Quit Kit that will support you, your friend or loved one, to resist the temptation to smoke, may take some trial and error. Remember to check in to see how they’re going. Quitting smoking can be very difficult and it’s easy to slip up or even relapse to smoking.5 If it’s a struggle, it’s good to see a doctor to help create a quit plan. Smokers are up to 4 times more likely to succeed in quitting with the help of a healthcare professional compared to quitting unaided.6
©Pfizer 2019. Pfizer Australia Pty Limited. Pfizer Medical Information: 1800 675 229. Sydney, Australia. PP-CHM-AUS-1021,11/2019
1. Benowitz, N.L. (2010). Nicotine addiction. New England Journal of Medicine, 362(24), pp.2295–2303.
2. American Cancer Society. Quitting Smoking: Help for Cravings and Tough Situations. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/guide-quitting-smoking/quitting-smoking-help-for-cravings-and-tough-situations.html#references Accessed 1 November 2019.
3. Healthline. Try This: 25 Teas to Relieve Stress and Anxiety. Available at https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/tea-for-anxiety#peppermint Accessed 1 November 2019.
4. Mayo Clinic. Quitting smoking: 10 ways to resist tobacco cravings. Available at https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/quit-smoking/in-depth/nicotine-craving/art-20045454 Accessed 1 November 2019.
5. RACGP. Supporting smoking cessation: a guide for health professionals. Melbourne: The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, 2011 (Updated July 2014). Available at https://www.racgp.org.au/FSDEDEV/media/documents/Clinical%20Resources/Guidelines/Supporting-smoking-cessation.pdf Accessed 1 November 2019. Accessed 1 November 2019.
6. West R. (2012). Stop smoking services: increased chances of quitting. NCSCT Briefing #8. London; National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training.