Healthy living

Staying stopped – tips to help you stay a non-smoker

Starting the day

  • Change your routine, do things in a different order.
  • Keep a list of your reasons for quitting close by your bed or stuck on the mirror.
  • Go for an early morning walk.
  • Avoid triggers such as coffee or tea and try an alternative breakfast.

Socialising or watching others smoke

  • Try to avoid being in the company of heavy smokers, at least until you feel confident about resisting temptation.
  • Move away from smokers at the table, at work or at parties.
  • Do something else instead of joining the smokers at breaks.
  • Tell your friends that you have stopped smoking and ask them not to offer you any cigarettes. Ask smokers to support you by not smoking in your presence.
  • Practise saying ‘no’ to offers of cigarettes.
  • Remind yourself of why you’ve quit.
  • Concentrate on the food, drink, and conversation or anything but cigarettes.

In the car

  • Take the ashtray and lighter out of the car.
  • Clean the car so that the lingering smell of cigarettes doesn’t tempt you.
  • Sing along with the radio.
  • If you are a passenger, take something to occupy your hands.

On the telephone

  • Keep a list of your reasons for quitting near the phone and look at it while you talk.
  • Keep a pen and paper handy so you can doodle.
  • Fiddle with the telephone cord or do a puzzle.

Drinking alcohol

  • Reduce your alcohol consumption to avoid losing control and giving in to the urge to smoke.
  • Have a soft drink, juice or water between each alcoholic drink.
  • Keep your hands occupied by holding the glass in both hands, playing with keys or loose change.

Watching TV

  • Sit on a different chair – one you don’t associate with smoking.
  • Try popcorn, sugarless gum or sip a soft drink, juice or water instead of smoking.
  • Keep yourself busy during advertisements.

Coping with setbacks

If you do have a cigarette, remember:

  • one cigarette doesn’t have to be the end of your attempt to quit
  • a slip-up is a setback, not a defeat
  • one cigarette is no reason to resume regular smoking
  • mistakes can be an opportunity to learn how to avoid future pitfalls – they do not mean you have lost everything you have achieved
  • continue with your attempt to quit
  • think about what caused you to smoke and find ways of dealing with such triggers in the future.

Remind yourself of your reasons for quitting and renew your determination to succeed – you can do it!

If you resume regular smoking, don’t despair. Don’t give up your intentions to quit, many quitters have made several serious attempts before succeeding. Think about what went wrong and try again.

Where to get help


Quitline is a confidential telephone support service staffed by professional advisors who are trained to provide encouragement and support to help you quit.

Phone: 13 7848 (13 QUIT) (local call rates from land line only). Advisors are available from:
  • Monday to Friday 6am – 7pm
  • Saturday 11.30pm – 2.30pm
  • Sunday closed.

Chronic Disease Prevention Directorate

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

Link to HealthyWA Facebook page