What to do to avoid smoking?

Hi everyone!

I’ve quit alcohol over a year ago and going strong with that with little to no issues at this point, but tackling my vicious smoking habit proves to be more cumbersome than anticipated. I’ve been smoking for 15 years, of which about half are actual full pack years.

Alcohol was way less ingrained into my system; going cold turkey sucked, but it worked because I’ve reached a point where I just knew it had to stop.

I know I want to stop smoking and I’ve gone from a full pack down to actual full day periods without smoking. Actually 3 without any, yet I still let one of those cravings take over today - twice.

My girlfriend is absolutely rooting for me, I just don’t want to get weak again and have thoughts like how I could smoke without repercussions the few times we don’t see each other. Yes, I’m quitting for me and that’s the main reason I’m doing it, but nevertheless, I just… really enjoy smoking and I’m worried how failing to quit could be worse than just smoking in a reduced fashion (hating the part that comes up with justifications like these).

So, my questions are fairly simple: what do you guys do to avoid giving in to cravings? Is “filling the void” the right approach for you as in replacing it with something meaningful 1:1 or did you make other observations about yourselves?

Thanks in advance for your replies and have some hugs of mine!


Instead of filling the void, IMO part of a successful quit is about accepting that there is a void, a space that doesn’t have to be filled. Just like with drinking. Like you observe yourself, the hardest part of quitting smoking is breaking the habit, not the addiction, even though nicotine is a viciously addictive substance. I smoked 2 packs a day for the better part of 35 years so everything I did was connected to smoking, from the moment I woke till I got to bed again, and even when I woke up in the middle of the night I smoked one. Everything. Of course you need to find other stuff to do too, but for me accepting there is emptiness and idleness played at least as big a role in beating the urges.
You will (and need to) understand that smoking is not pleasurable. It doesn’t give you joy. All it does is temporarily relieve you of the craving for nicotine. The thing you perceive as pleasure is actually the taking away of withdrawal you do by ingesting nicotine into your system. It takes only half an hour for nicotine withdrawal to kick in. And withdrawal’s pretty nasty, I remember from quitting cold turkey in September 2015. Took me about 10 days to make it through.
One thing I still at times do is chew on toothpicks. That’s a habit that’s still with me. I don’t care. I don’t smoke. This is black and white. No grey. Whatever you do don’t smoke or it will never stop. Do whatever you want but don’t smoke (or hurt an other human or animal). Be creative. Think about it. So much stuff you can do. Except smoking. Congrats on quitting! You can do this! I did and nothing special here. Success Misklikk


Hi Mno!

Thank you for taking time out of your day to respond to me.

Thank you for giving me a little perspective there, especially your take on the enjoyment of nicotine really did resonate with me.

I think the hardest part is actually letting go, actually saying “this was my last one and I don’t care”.

Towards the end of my first couple of smoke-free days I’ve experienced a weird sort of pressure around the front of my head. Kind of like stress headaches, just way more intense. Have you experienced similar or even worse sensations (since you’re talking about 10 days of bodily withdrawal in your case)? I feel like I chickened out with those symptoms and thought to myself “Oh, God, this will never stop unless I do smoke”.

Your message gave me courage, in any case, thank you again and have a wonderful rest of your day.


I started by switching to vaping for 6 months, once I had been vaping I switched to nicotine gum for 6 months. Then I weened off the nicotine gum and went cold turkey. It works if you can just stop the smoking part, that’s the real test.

E-cigarettes are great. I’ve been on them for 7 years. Becomes a hobby too if you like. There’s also a great community in it like on Facebook and YouTube. The taste of food comes back. I’m never out of breath anymore and they really are 95% safer. The NHS approves them. Once you find the flavour you like you’re golden.

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For me the detox and withdrawal felt like a bad case of the flu. My sinuses were messed up, my head was messed up, my sleep was (very) messed up, my concentration was gone, I felt sick all around. A maximum of two weeks. it was tough but not worse than being 'normally’sick. And it fitted with my way of seeing the only way out as through. But that’s me. What I can say is that it (the withdrawal symptoms) will never stop as long as you keep fighting them with lighting up.

@Samfreeman88 E-smoking is still using nicotine. You’re still addicted. The NHS approves of them as a less harmful alternative to smoking, as a form of harm reduction and as an aid to quit smoking all together. They are rather unique in the world with this opinion I can add. And they don’t approve of them period. Not vaping or e-cigaretting is always better and safer.

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In your mind you have to grasp that there is really nothing good about cigarettes except pulling you out of yet another withdrawal … and setting you up for a repeat, not to mention, the possibility of smoking for the rest of your lifetime.
Not to mention you are paying the tobacco companies for that.
Smoking smells bad, it makes you smell bad, it puts black stuff in your lungs and it is a form of slow suicide.
Yes, I know, you might want to just smoke some every now and then… …usually that does not work.
Best to decide to quit for good.
I know noone who has ever regretted their decision to quit smoking.
I was scared to quit, scared I would fail, scared I couldn’t live without them, etcetera.
It takes some time away from them to go Hoorah, what was I ever thinking to want to smoke??
Give yourself the chance to be smoke free by saying, No. No more cigarettes. Get rid of them.
If you are physically able, I suggest exerting in a physical way when you have a crave. Run up and down some stairs for the 7 minutes it would take to smoke, do push ups, do planks, something that will help rid you of that “nervous” energy.
Move around more to the best of your ability.
Another way to get through a crave is to recognize the crave is there and let it wash over you. You will be okay, you will get through. It will come, and it will go.
Some people complain of a sense of light headedness and that can be from an increased oxygen level in your blood. Do not overthink too much withdrawal type things.
Distract yourself. Chew regular gum. I chewed tons and tons of regular gum. Have healthy snacks around. Have some game on your cell phone you could play. Or music you really like. Good healthy behaviors replacing the smoking. Post here for hep or to help someone w something else.
Consider a nicotine patch, but truly this just keeps you in active addiction. I cannot recommend it to you.
You have gone three days which is a huge milestone! Say bye bye, adios, get lost ,to the cigarettes and feel your power being stronger than them!
You can do it!


I’m down to zero nicotine mate. Costs a lot less too. I’d highly recommend starting with nicotine and work your way down if nothing is working for you. Plus you will feel so much healthier.

Good on you friend. Still, putting nothing at all but air in your lungs is even cheaper and healthier.

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Just quit. Dont think about it. Don’t make it apart of your life anymore. Dont cut down, dont vape, don’t do patches- just quit… I smoked ciggerettes for half my life and I just stopped cold turkey. You can do it, you just have to want to :pray: :innocent::hugs::tada:


I agree with everything that @Alisa said :tada::pray::100:

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This is really not good advice. Really not.


Why is that?

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