Alcohol can potentially set you back in your quit. Stay focused and in control.
Alcohol can be dangerous for someone who’s recently quit smoking for two main reasons: 1) For many people, alcoholic drinks act as a smoking trigger, causing them to crave a cigarette. 2) Given that alcohol is known for lowering inhibitions, it may lead some to believe it’s alright for them to smoke “just one” cigarette. That “one” cigarette then turns into two, then three, and then ultimately an unsuccessful quit attempt.
As you prepare yourself for upcoming holiday parties, dinners, and company events, set yourself up for victory over smoking by creating a plan to stay in control of your senses and your quit with these eight tips:
- Be the host or offer to help with a friend’s party. If you’re busy cooking up a storm or finding ways to entertain friends, you’ll be less likely to drink and smoke since you’ll need to keep your wits about you.
- Go for a non-alcoholic drink. Obviously, the best way to stay in control is to not drink at all. Instead, go for your favorite seasonal, non-spiked drink like apple cider or eggnog.
- Know your limits. Should you decide to drink alcohol, limit the amount you drink so you don’t overdo it.
- Find other ways to satisfy cravings. Got the urge to smoke? Find something else to put in your hand or mouth like a straw or toothpick. Or distract yourself by starting a card or board game.
- Know your exits. Are others around you smoking? Is a craving becoming too powerful? It’s ok to take a step back and remove yourself from the situation, either temporarily or for the rest of the evening.
- Keep your priorities in check. Remind yourself before, during, and after events of your commitment to a smokefree life and the reasons for why you quit. It’ll help you avoid things that may interfere with your success.
- Manage your stress. Stress is what often causes people to smoke and drink. If you tackle your stress through other more healthy means, you’ll feel less of the desire to pick up a cigarette or drink.
- Engage your quit buddy. If you’re especially worried about drinking and smoking, call or text your quit buddy to help you through your fears and concerns. Better yet, get your quit buddy to come to the party with you!
These tips are not only helpful during the holidays, but also during other times where alcohol and smoking are a potential issue. Have a great, smokefree holiday season!
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