10 Super Effective Strategies to Quit Smoking for Good

by | Apr 27, 2023 | Health

Smoking is a bad habit. Even the most fanatical smoker won’t deny that. With endless research showing that lighting up can not only destroy your lungs, affect your heart health, and even slow down your libido, taking the fight to this deadly addiction is one of the smartest decisions you can make for your long-term well-being. However, as any smoker knows, trying to quit smoking is no easy task.

Nicotine is highly addictive, and all it takes is one bad day to push you over the edge and send you rushing over to your nearest petrol station. No worries: we’re here to help. We’ve compiled some of the best research, effective apps and thorough books to give you the tools to embrace a new, healthier smoke-free lifestyle.

1. Head Out for a Run

Next time you get the urge, hit the tarmac instead. Turns out that people who exercise when they’re craving that nicotine hit are more likely to conquer the urges. A report published in the journal Addiction found that this was an iron-tight strategy to beat those tobacco temptations. (Plus, you’ll net yourself a much-needed cardio boost to air out your lungs and fire up your heart.)

READ MORE: Can Running Actually Help You Lose Weight?

Researchers reckon that embarking on a run, or any kind of exercise, might provide enough of a distraction to steer you away from that urge to puff. Bonus: working up a sweat could also boost your mood.

2. Get Your Five-a-Day

Gorging on healthy fruits and vegetables might be a good strategy to stop your smoking habit in its tracks. According to a 2012 study conducted by the University of Boulder, those who consumed these fibrous items were more likely to abstain from cigarettes than those deprived of greenery. Why? The researchers say our brains might easily get confused between cravings for food and smokes, and snacking on high-fibre treats will keep you feeling full for longer leaving you less likely to reach for the carton.

Try These Three High-Fibre Snacks Next Time the Cravings Hit

The Classic Granola

simply granola the classic

A homespun family recipe, this breakfast is loaded with coconut, cranberries and almonds—delivering the type of fibre payload that will keep your smoking urges at bay. Eat plan, with milk or sprinkled on top of your preferred smoothie bowl.

Wholesome Harvest Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a great alternative to greasy chips. These are dusted with cinnamon for a sweet and spicy hit that’s both moreish and will turn those cig cravings into a distant memory.

Nairn’s Coconut & Chia Oat

These biscuits make use of simple ingredients without sacrificing flavour. You’ll net 8.7g fibre per serving. Sold? We’re already snacking.

3. Open Up

According to a University of Georgia study, smokers struggling to quit who share their hardships on social media are far more likely to kick the habit than those who search for support outside of the digital space. The lesson? Share your struggles with your friends and find those also looking to ditch the smokes.

4. Try These Apps

man on phone trying to quit smoking
Getty Images/Westend61

Use your phone for good with apps that will finally help you kick this bad habit. These are some of our favourite downloads:

5. QuitNow

With an easy-to-use interface, you can track milestones like X amount of days since your last cig. The app also lets you connect with others embarking on the same smoke-free journey, giving you instant support with just a tap. Bonus: you’ll be provided with a plethora of helpful resources that could make it easier to kick the habit. Available on iOS and Android.

6. Kwit

This app gamifies the smoke-free lifestyle, with every aspect designed to give you that dopamine hit usually associated with gunning down baddies in your favourite videogame. You’ll also get access to a vast amount of statistics tracking the amount of cigarettes you haven’t smoked, the money you’ve saved and how many days you’ve managed to avoid puffing. Available on iOS and Android.

7. Smoke Free

This app will not only track how much money you’ve saved by not buying new cartons, but will also log the number of cigs you’ve avoided. Bonus: whenever you experience that urge, you can jump on the app to receive instant tips on how to avoid lighting up. Plus, the app will provide you with stats on your health, giving you an overview of how much your body is benefiting from finally quitting. Available on iOS and Android.

READ MORE: TESTED: 11 Fitness Apps That Actually Work

8. Grab a Good Read

You’re not the first person to quit, and definitely not the last which means there’s tons of literature on the topic of going smoke-free. Here are a few our top recs for reads that will—hopefully—bookend the “smoking phase” of your life:

9. Here’s How to Quit Smoking

here's how to quit smoking by michael hook

Michael Hook takes you through his “Beyond Nicotine Quit Smoking” programme, a method that’s helped thousands finally kick the habit. The book attempts to replicate the format of the programme’s hyper successful workshops, giving you all the insight and practical advice without you having to leave your couch.

10. Easy Way to Quit Vaping

Vaping was meant to be a great way for smokers to ditch the cigs, but most just swapped habits and are now just as addicted to the electronic alternative. If you’re puffing sweet-smelling clouds on a regular basis, this book will help you put down the device once and for all. Throughout the book, author Allen Carr will take you through his method that has helped many people—including celebrities—go smoke-free.

Men’s Health participates in various affiliate marketing programmes, which means we may get commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.

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