Coping with being around smokers

When you quit smoking, avoiding temptation and old habits is a challenge – especially when it comes to being around people you used to smoke with. These tips will help you kick the habit - without losing touch with all of your friends in the process

Change of scene

If you have friends you used to light-up with, it can be tricky knowing how to stop smoking without having to stop seeing them. How about suggesting a change of scene, one which doesn’t revolve around cigarettes? If Friday night catch-ups with friends usually involved a glass of wine and cigarette at a local bar, perhaps dinner and a movie might be better, or even a daytime outing to see an exhibition, or a walk. If nipping out for a cigarette break at work was a chance for a good natter with your colleague, why not ask them if they’d like to have a weekly coffee or lunch? Quitting needn’t mean you miss out on socialising – it just takes a little imagination and flexibility. And it might mean you discover new things in the process – bonus!

Be prepared

You want to stop smoking – not completely isolate yourself and miss out on all the fun. Avoiding certain places and scenarios for a while when you quit is understandable, and you might feel the need to say ‘no’ to some social invitations until your cravings have died down. But some invitations you simply won’t want to refuse, like a birthday celebration or an important work function, and you don’t have to – just make sure you’re prepared. Having a suitable nicotine replacement product to hand will help ensure you don’t give in to temptation if the urge to light up gets too strong. If you were a social smoker, a NICORETTE® Inhalator could really help – sometimes it’s the hand-to-mouth action or having something to hold that people miss most. Or, the Invisipatch will give you a consistent release of nicotine for 16 hours. If you’re anxious about coping with cravings on a day out, pop it on in the morning – a great solution if you’re going to a place where you want something discreet.

Surround yourself with support

Most people are well aware that stopping smoking is 100% a good thing! And people understand quitting is a challenge and requires bag-loads of willpower, therefore most will be supportive of your decision. However, there might be the odd occasion when people aren’t supportive, and may even encourage you to have a cigarette. ‘Ah, go on, one won’t hurt’. One will hurt! As it could easily lead to two, three, four… Explain that quitting is very important to you. If they still refuse to change their tune, it might help to avoid being around them for a while. There are plenty of people who will be supportive and help you stay on track.

Motivation top-ups

A number one rule for stopping smoking is to focus on the positives. Yes, it can feel like a huge effort to quit – but think of all the money you’ll save from no longer buying cigarettes, how much your health and skin will improve, and how much happier your loved ones will be when you’ve kicked the habit. Keep reminding yourself of these positives – put a note on your desk or stick a list on your fridge, even a picture of the dream holiday you’ll be able to afford one day as a result, as a daily reminder. Staying focused on these things will help you stay motivated, which will come in extra handy when you’re faced with saying ‘no’ to a cigarette with colleagues at break time, or going out at the weekend. Find out more about the range of NICORETTE® products available to help you to be prepared or listen to stories for people that have been stopping smoking here.