National Non-Smoking Week: 9 (Bizarre) Tips to Help You Quit

Zoomer | January 21st, 2018

The Canadian Cancer Society has some strange advice for smokers trying to quit. So strange, in fact, that it just might work. 

The Canadian Cancer Society is calling on smokers to try something ridiculous in their bid to get—and stay—smoke-free.

“We hear stories from smokers every day about all of the weird tricks that they or their friends use to stay smoke-free,” says John Atkinson, Director of Smokers’ Helpline. “A lot of them actually have roots in science, but people don’t always realize it at the time. The old saying is often true—if it sounds stupid, but it works, it isn’t stupid.”

Here’s nine tips from the Canadian Cancer Society to help you make 2017 the year you quit for good.

1. Quit. A lot
It can take a lot of tries to stay smoke-free for good—so try frequently until you quit for good. For help with that, join the Smokers’ Helpline’s monthly First Week Challenge at firstweekchallengecontest.ca and you could win $500 by staying quit for just one week.

2. Celebrate your failures
Each time you try to quit, you learn more about what works for you and what pitfalls to avoid. So celebrate learning something new for the next time you try to quit.

3. Talk to strangers
You aren’t the first person to quit smoking, and you won’t be the last, but maybe your friends and family don’t really get it. Smokers’ Helpline Online has an anonymous community where you can talk to other quitters, get support and ask the questions you might think are stupid, but really aren’t stupid at all.

4. Make excuses
Somebody is going to ask you out for a smoke break, or you’re going to get that after-lunch craving. What are you going to do? Start making excuses now so that you have one ready when you need it. And for those stressful situations you can’t excuse yourself from, you can talk to a Smokers’ Helpline Quit Coach to make plans to get through them instead. Call toll-free: 1-877-513-5333.

5. Tell everybody you’re quitting. Post it on Facebook, tell that guy you buy your coffee from—everybody. Public pledges help keep you accountable and allow your friends to support you when you need it.

6. Take up drinking…
…water, not alcohol. Drinking more water, especially early on, will help during cravings and will speed up the removal of nicotine and other stuff from your system. And yeah, even if quitting is driving you to drink, try to lay off the booze—it’s a pretty common reason people fall off the quit-wagon.

7. Take a hike
Bundle up, get your boots on, and head outside. Exercise, like walking or running, can help you stay smoke-free and reduce common side effects (like weight gain). If you’ve never been a walker, let alone a runner, you can learn to run and get support while you quit smoking with the Run To Quit program. Register at runtoquit.com

8. Stop planning to quit
Jumping in with two feet and quitting right now can provide more insight than endlessly planning and putting off actually quitting. You learn by doing, and by trying to quit at least once, you’ll have more information to plan for the next time.

9. Use nicotine
Try nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products. They work by bringing down your daily dose of nicotine bit by bit without the other effects of tobacco. It’s a method that can more than double your chances of long-term success, and works with the other tips in this list too. You can talk to your doctor or pharmacist or call Smokers’ Helpline for free at 1-877-513-5333 to speak to a trained Quit Coach for more information. If you use NRT and you call Smokers’ Helpline, you’ll triple your chance of making your quit stick.