From the time we were young we were taught about the detrimental effects that tobacco has on your health.  Tobacco can take a toll on your social life, education and relationships. This is no joke, tobacco products CAN cause massive health problems that can dramatically change your life forever. The guidelines below will help you to successfully quit tobacco for good.

  • Boredom

When making the move to quit, try to keep your hands busy as much as possible. Instead of picking up a cigarette or reaching for some chew, try these options instead:

  • Crossword puzzles
  • Crafting (pinterest has LOADS of “Do It Yourself” projects)
  • Write letters to long distant friends/relatives or start a blog
  • Practice your cooking skills in the kitchen
  • Use your green thumb and begin gardening
  • Chew gum and other low calorie snacks
  • While watching T.V. pop in some popcorn or grab some veggies to snack on rather than smoking a cigarette



  • Traveling

Don’t let traveling hinder your will to quit smoking. There are plenty of ways to spend your time rather than inhaling potentially damaging toxins.

  • Pack lots of healthy snacks when you travel (veggies, fruit, hummus, energy bars, etc.)
  • Suck on mints, hard candy, cinnamon sticks or toothpicks.
  • Make pit-stops while traveling to stretch and walk around.
  • Bring a friend who doesn’t smoke along for the trip, they will hold you accountable.



  • Socializing

Sometimes social situations can be the most tempting situations. Have the will power and push through these tempting social settings. Here’s what you can do:

  • Avoid drinks you would associate with smoking like alcohol or coffee.
  • Grab a glass of water with lemon and sip it slowly.
  • Socialize with those who do not smoke or use tobacco, they should be your ultimate influencers in quitting this harmful habit.


  • Mealtime

When you are done with a meal, it might feel like the opportune time to indulge in a cigarette. Think again and follow these tips:

  • Leave the dinner table completely and save the desserts for later.
  • Brush your teeth right after you eat so you get that fresh taste in your mouth.
  • Try chewing a piece of sugarless gum.
  • Lastly, take a short walk.


  • Stress

No one likes the way stress can leave you feeling, especially when you are making the transition from being a smoker to a non-smoker. Here’s one way you can relieve some of that stress:

  1. Close your eyes and take 10 deep breaths.
  2. Light a match (pretend it’s a cigarette) and then blow it out and crush it in the ashtray.
  3. Open your eyes and phone a friend to tell them how the exercise made you feel.




  • Avoid the urge

When the urge becomes unbearable and you don’t know what to do, remember the 4 D’s:

  • Delay– wait a few minutes.
  • Deep breathing– take four deep breaths.
  • Drink-grab a glass of water or juice with carbohydrates.
  • Do-something else with your time. 


  • Break old habits

No matter what the habit is, it will be hard to break. Believe in yourself and you can do it!

  1. Visit places where smoking or tobacco use is not allowed.
  2. Go outside or join a fitness class to get some physical activity.
  3. Throw away ALL cigarettes, matches and tobacco products. Out of sight, out of mind.
  4. Air out your house and clean your car so the lingering smell of cigarettes is destroyed.


For more information on how to quit tobacco NOW, call I Quit with AHEC (813) 974-7889 or visit Wellness Education and USF AHEC are hosting 2-hour courses to help you quit on January 12 and February 8 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. If you’d like to register, please call (813) 974-7889.
Don’t forget, the University of South Florida is a tobacco-free campus beginning January 2016.