85 Things to Do Besides Smoking

Patient Story

The best way to break a bad habit is to replace it with something else. Quickly coming up with an alternative to smoking can feel near impossible. After all, craving a cigarette pecks at you like an insistent toddler in the candy aisle. Here's an at-the-ready list to help you say no.

Just reading through this list can help strengthen your resolve. Try a few and track what helps. Keep the list growing by adding your own.

Right This Moment

Man thinking on park bench
  1. Eat crunchy, fresh vegetables
  2. Eat a piece of candy.
  3. Chew on a toothpick.
  4. Chew gum.
  5. Take deep breaths
  6. Drink a cold glass of water.
  7. Eat a popsicle.
  8. Brush and floss your teeth.
  9. Get the mail.
  10. Think about your reasons for quitting smoking.
  11. Take a shower.
  12. March in place.

Get Out & About

Hiking in the woods
  1. Take a drive.
  2. Walk the dog.
  3. Read a book.
  4. Go to the library.
  5. Go to a museum.
  6. Take photographs.
  7. Go fishing.
  8. Watch the sunrise.
  9. Play in the snow or rain.
  10. Go hiking.
  11. Go to an amusement park.
  12. Take a walk in the woods or park.
  13. Enjoy a sunset.

Stay Inside

Sharing a cup of tea with friends
  1. Call a friend.
  2. Play with your cat.
  3. Write a friend an email.
  4. Do a crossword puzzle.
  5. Keep your hands busy with knitting, crocheting or needlepoint.
  6. Take a relaxing bath.
  7. Give yourself a manicure and pedicure.
  8. Take a nap.
  9. Read a magazine.
  10. Call someone.
  11. Sing.
  12. Explore your genealogy.
  13. Make a scrapbook.
  14. Write a letter.
  15. Make a healthy snack.
  16. Write a poem.
  17. Drink a cup of tea.
  18. Make a card for someone.
  19. Write a list of things you're grateful for.

Feeling Productive?

Organizing computer files
  1. Scrub the floor.
  2. Organize a drawer or closet.
  3. Pull weeds.
  4. Go grocery shopping.
  5. Wash your car.
  6. Organize your computer files.
  7. Do the dishes.
  8. Clean out the refrigerator.
  9. Volunteer time to an organization that needs help.
  10. Balance your checkbook.
  11. Learn to play a musical instrument.
  12. Visit a retirement home.
  13. Paint a room.
  14. Organize photos.
  15. Do laundry.
  16. Work on your car.
  17. Learn something new.
  18. Pick up litter.
  19. Wax the car.
  20. Cut the grass.
  21. Plant a tree.

With Your Loved Ones

Reading to a child
  1. Play a game with a friend.
  2. Read a story to your kids.
  3. Hug someone.
  4. Toss a ball with your kids.
  5. Play a card game.
  6. Share a kiss with someone you love.

On Your Own ... Or With Others!

Bowling with friends
  1. Watch a movie.
  2. Take a walk.
  3. Go on a bike ride.
  4. Bake someone cookies.
  5. Practice doing a new hair style.
  6. Walk around the mall.
  7. Do a jigsaw puzzle.
  8. Exercise.
  9. Make a dinner reservation.
  10. Play a video game.
  11. Go bowling.
  12. Go antique shopping.
  13. Play mini golf.
  14. Treat yourself to a massage.

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Additional Resources

Is 2020 your year to quit smoking? Join the ranks of former smokers who've quit for life.

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