How to Stay Social without Smoking
Socializing with friends, family, and colleagues is one of life’s greatest pleasures. However, bars, parties, and get-togethers can be tricky situations for smokers looking to limit their tobacco use. These environments are primed with triggers: alcohol, outdoor venues, other smokers—but that doesn’t mean you are destined to succumb to your cravings.
Plan to fight back.
When you’re spending the night out with others, preparation is the key to staying committed to you quit. This Monday, learn how you can plan ahead to avoid smoking triggers and combat your cravings.
Pick the Venue
If you’re going out with a small group, suggest a destination that doesn’t allow smoking. Many restaurants forbid smoking indoors and outdoors, so going out to brunch or dinner is usually a good option. Other places where smoking is prohibited include parks, malls, museums, and movie theaters. These locations are prime gathering spots because they offer other forms of entertainment to help distract you from cravings. An additional benefit of a smoke-free location is that no one has to deal with the smell of secondhand smoke.
Don’t leave the house without the tools necessary to combat cravings, because they do tend to arise when you least except them. Bring along some sucking candies, chewing gum, a pencil or fidget spinner, a bottle of water, or have a quit buddy on speed dial to help prevent you from succumbing to cigarette cravings. A quick meditation or some deep belly breathing can also hold you over until the immediate urge passes.
Know Your Triggers
Don’t put yourself into situations that make you want to smoke. It sounds simple, but if you have a history of having a cigarette with coffee or smoking after a beer, try to avoid these particular activities until you have better control over your urges. Make a list of your smoking triggers—emotional, pattern, social, and withdrawal—and anticipate scenarios which they might occur in order to avoid them.