Living Tobacco-Free

Young man doing a handstand in a grassy field

When you quit smoking, you may feel like you've lost some of the pleasure in life. But that doesn't have to be the case. When you stop smoking, your senses of taste and smell start to come back to life. So does your feeling of being in direct contact with the world, without a smoke screen to hide behind. As a nonsmoker, you can go so many places and enjoy so many experiences that were off limits to you as a smoker. Now you can watch a movie in a theater without wanting to jump up and go outside for a smoke. You can take that long trip now, without the discomfort of being unable to smoke on the plane, train or bus. And like many other things, it gets easier to do all of these things with time.

Keep a list of pleasurable activities you can do when you feel urges during your transition phase.

Here are some ideas to get you started (or come up with your own):

At home

  • Watch movies.
  • Build or make something.
  • Plant flowers.
  • Take an afternoon nap.
  • Write letters.
  • Look at old family photos or home movies.

With other people

  • Have a party.
  • See old friends.
  • Play with kids or pets.
  • Join a group; get involved in local politics.
  • Do volunteer work.
  • Have a picnic in the park.

Going out

  • See a new movie.
  • Go to a concert.
  • Go to sporting events.
  • Shop! Buy yourself rewards with the money you've saved.
  • Visit auctions or garage sales.

Being outdoors

  • Go bird watching.
  • Visit your local garden, zoo or aquarium.
  • Take a ride to parts of your city (or county) you haven't seen for awhile.
  • Go fishing.
  • Participate in your favorite outdoor sport — ski, swim, play tennis or shoot hoops.

Especially for you

  • Buy new CDs or DVDs.
  • Have a massage.
  • Visit a farmer's market.
  • Eat a healthy meal at a nice restaurant.
  • Get some good books from the library.
  • Make plans for a vacation.
  • Spend time on a favorite hobby.