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5 top tips to Quit Smoking

Giving up smoking can be a challenge but there are things you can do to give yourself or a loved one the best chance of success.

Published: 4 January 2021

There’s always an excuse we can use to put off making a positive health behaviour change, especially considering how tough the next few months will be for a lot of us in our continuing response to COVID-19. This year put yourself first and get the support you need to help you quit for good. Staff in Hospital groups and in Community Services can access free stop smoking medication (Nicotine replacement therapy/Champix) to support them on their quitting journey.

Giving up smoking can be a challenge but there are things you can do to give yourself or a loved one the best chance of success.

Here are our top 5 tips to help you to quit

  1. Prepare: write down your reasons for quitting. Keep them close or stick them on your fridge as a reminder to stay strong. 
  2. Change your routine and habits - do you normally have a cigarette with a coffee or tea? Then change your routine – have a cup of water instead or hold your cup in the other hand. 
  3. Keep check on cravings –your craving for nicotine will peak at 3-5 minutes and will pass. Have you heard of the 4Ds? 

    Delay at least 3 – 5 minutes and the urge will pass;
    Drink a glass of water or fruit juice;
    Distract yourself, move away from the situation;
    Deep breathe – breathe slowly and deeply. 

  4. Get by with a little help from your friends – supportive friends, family and even work colleagues could make all the difference to you on your QUIT journey. 
  5. The single best advice is to help yourself QUIT by getting support from the QUIT Team. Our service is available to everyone and is free of charge. Using a support service like ours makes you twice as likely to succeed. If you use stop smoking medication as well as our service you are four times more likely to succeed. 

    Find out more about accessing free stop smoking medications

Quitting smoking is a journey. There are the physical cravings for nicotine, the psychological dependence and the emotional dependence, which all need to be worked on when quitting. Get qualified professional support to help you on your journey. Find details of your local free HSE stop smoking supports.

Check out the YouCanQuit support groups available on Facebook 

Call us on 1800 201 203 Or FREETEXT QUIT to 50100. For best results click here to sign up for a free, personalised Quit plan.

Some of the things you can do to help a loved one quit:

  • remind them to take it one day at a time and reward themselves throughout the quitting process
  • encourage them to exercise regularly - this helps deal with withdrawal symptoms, avoids weight gain and improves mood
  • remind them to look after themselves - to get plenty of sleep and eat well
  • keep up their morale with lots of praise and encouragement
  • allow for the occasional bad mood - be patient
  • remind them about the benefits of giving up - each day without smoking is better for their health
  • suggest they save the money that would have been spent on smoking and use it to treat themselves instead

If you would like to share your quitting story please feel free to get in touch with us at

Support the campaign on social media

Tweet us at or using #TheLastStop #QuitandWin

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