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Quit Smoking Tips to Keep Your Hands and Mouth Busy

You’ve decide to give up smoking. Seriously, massive kudos to you. It’s the first step to…well, not smoking anymore! We want to be the ones that fight in your corner. So we’re here to give you some quit smoking tips, but specifically about what to do with your hands and mouth. 

As well as being a popular New Year’s Resolution, you might be thinking about doing this because it’s coming up to October.

In the United Kingdom, October is known as “Stoptober”: a month dedicated to encouraging smokers to quit. The UK’s health service claim that if you’re able to make it through the first 28 days of quitting, you’re 5x more likely to quit for good. The Stoptober website also offers advice, as well as signposting to resources such as apps and support groups, to aid potential cig-free citizens.

But you probably know that it’s not going to be easy, even for a mere month.

The hardest thing for the majority of smokers is overcoming the addiction to nicotine. That’s no small feat! According to Vaping Daily, you start feeling the effects of nicotine withdrawal after just 4 hours of having your last cigarette, with the first three days being the hardest to overcome.

Symptoms include:

  • Restlessness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Heightened anxiety
  • Increased stress levels

Eak! Hang in there. You can do this!

But another thing that many people find hard is trying to replace the feeling of having something in their mouth and hands.

So, we’d like to offer you some short shopping lists and some lighthearted but potentially effective quit smoking tips. These will help you keep your hands and mouth busy during this trying, but hopefully triumphant, month for you.

However, we do strongly advise that you do speak to a doctor before quitting smoking, and also check out the information, advice, support, and eve more quit smoking tips over at the official Stoptober website.

quit smoking tips

Quit Smoking Tips: Engage Your Mouth

Snacking

This is a good way to engage your mouth. But you need to be careful as you don’t want to snack on unhealthy food, trading smoking for weight gain. But here are some snacks and foods that help you quit smoking.

Pretzel sticks – the best thing about these is that they can also help satisfy the feeling your hands miss as they’re a similar shape to a cigarette. Be careful though, as these are often very salty, and increased sodium intake can lead to high blood pressure issues such as hypertension.

Carrot or celery sticks – these are certainly healthier than pretzel sticks. Again, these kill two birds with one stone as their shape can also simulate that of a cigarette. But for many eating raw vegetables can be unpleasant. If the thought of eating raw carrots or celery is off-putting, consider using a dip such as hummus or salsa to improve their taste.

Dried fruit and nuts – these are snack staples for people on diets as they’re high in energy and often full of good fat and oil. So why wouldn’t it work for someone who’s trying to quit smoking? Again, just make sure you’re not gobbling down anything too salty to ensure your blood pressure stays low.

Snacking Shopping List

  • Pretzel sticks
  • Carrot sticks
  • Celery sticks
  • Hummus
  • Salsa
  • Dried fruit and nuts

quit smoking tips

Chewing

Another way to keep the mouth engaged without actually filling your stomach is to chew on something.

Chewing Gum – you can use nicotine gum to help stave off those cravings. But if you really want to push hard against that nicotine addiction, you can try normal chewing gum. Make sure it’s sugar-free though, as you don’t want to end up with bad teeth.

Aside from keeping your gob busy, chewing gum has some surprising benefits. There are studies that claim it can help:

However, there are some long-term side effects of chewing, such as headaches and jaw problems, and chewing too much sugar-free gum in a short space of time can have laxative effects. But in moderation, chewing can be a great way to keep your mouth engaged.

Toothpicks – some people have found that chewing on a toothpick can really help suppress the urge to stick a cigarette in your mouth. You’ll also have the added bonus of looking like a cowboy or a bad ass action hero. What’s more, you can even flavor them if you’d rather not taste wood all day. You can do this using your favorite tipple, such as whiskey.

If you don’t drink alcohol, or your boss has an issue with alcohol-soaked paraphernalia in the workplace, you can try flavoring them with essential oils such as cinnamon, orange peel, or mint.

Chewing Shopping List

  • Nicotine gum
  • Sugar-free chewing cum
  • Toothpicks
  • Whiskey
  • Essential oils

quit smoking tips

Quit Smoking Tips: Engage Your Hands

Having something in your hands can really help you ease the sensation of not holding a cigarette anymore.

Plastic Straw – plastic straws are a great way to engage your hands. As well as being a similar shape to a cigarette you can even cut one down to be the length of a cigarette, too. What’s great is that it can engage your mouth too. You can simulate inhaling on a cigarette by putting the straw in your mouth and sucking air through it.

However, this comes with the drawback of being a bit conspicuous, especially if the straws you are using are brightly colored. What’s more, with the big conversation around banning plastic straws for environmental reasons happening at the moment, these might not be the best option depending on your environmental point of view.

Pen or Pencil – these are objects that are really easy to get hold of and are similar shape to a cigarette. What’s more, they’re quite inconspicuous and make you look like you’re super busy at work.

Stress Ball – they’re soft, squeezy, and specifically designed to help release some tension during stressful periods in your day. Chances are you’ve gotten for free from somewhere: a convention, a promotion, or stolen from your boss’s desk. However, you can also buy them in various shapes and sizes, from brains to Donald Trump. These will certainly help with those increased stress levels caused by your nicotine withdrawal.

Fidget Spinner – are these still a thing? If you can still buy one, they can be an inexpensive way to keep your hands busy. You might even be able to get a hold of one for free from a younger relative who’s now preoccupied with the next fad to irritate teachers and parents alike.

On a serious note, you can also learn some neat tricks which can help keep your mind occupied from thinking about smoking.

Yo-Yo – if fidget spinners are hard to come by, or you really want to complete a rad 1980s look, get a yo-yo. Like with fidget-spinners, you can keep your mind busy by learning tricks to impressive all your mates down at the roller-disco.

Fidget Cube – if you want something a bit more adult and a bit less retro than a fidget spinner or a yo-yo, you can buy a specifically designed fidget cube. These usually have a variety of different apparatus to keep your hands busy, from switches and buttons to things that swivel, which can satisfy a whole range of fidgety twitches.

E-Cigarettes/Vaping – these can engage both your mouth and your hands at the same time as you’re essentially doing something very similar to smoking. As many of the liquids and flavors have nicotine in them, they can also help you gradually reduce your nicotine intake to help manage withdrawal symptoms, much like nicotine patches and gum can. However, these are not officially approved by America’s FDA as a way to quit smoking.

The verdict is still quite hazy on whether these are as healthy an alternative to smoking as they claim. Yes, you’re not filing your lungs with tar like with a lit cigarette, but some liquids have been reported to contain harmful ingredients such as lead and arsenic. A lot more research does need to be done on the benefits/drawbacks of e-cigarettes and vapes, so it’s up to you whether you think this is a good option or not.

Furthermore, in some countries and states these are banned in public spaces and workplaces on the basis that it can expose people around you to harmful chemicals and aerosols. So this might not be the most convenient solution.

Cigarette – this comes with the big warning that you will have to fight the urge to light up. But some people do find having an actual cigarette between their fingers helps keep those withdrawal feelings in your hands at bay. This is because a cigarette is the closest thing to an actual cigarette when it comes to wanting have a cigarette in your hand. It’s risky, but if you can resist the temptation it can be a familiar comfort that can keep you on the straight and narrow.

Engage Your Hands Shopping List

  • Plastic straw
  • Pen
  • Pencil
  • Stress ball
  • Fidget spinner
  • Yo-Yo
  • Fidget Toy
  • E-cigarette
  • Cigarette

quit smoking tips

Go Get ‘Em, Tiger

Now you’re armed with plenty of quit smoking tips to help keep your hands and mouth busy whilst you’re quitting smoking. We’re cheering you on from afar and are really hoping you can stub out the habit once and for all.

Have you manged to give up smoking? Which of the above quit smoking tips have been particularly helpful? Please let us know in the comments below.

Snacking Shopping List

  • Pretzel sticks
  • Carrot sticks
  • Celery sticks
  • Hummus
  • Salsa
  • Dried fruit and nuts

Chewing Shopping List

  • Nicotine gum
  • Sugar-free chewing cum
  • Toothpicks
  • Whiskey
  • Essential oils

Engage Your Hands Shopping List

  • Plastic straw
  • Pen
  • Pencil
  • Stress ball
  • Fidget spinner
  • Yo-Yo
  • Fidget Toy
  • E-cigarette/Vape
  • Cigarette
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