Updated 11 July 2013

Can diet help you stop smoking?

Are there foods that make you want to smoke less?

There is some evidence that smokers who eat plenty of fruit and vegetables have a better chance of quitting.

High-fibre foods (most fruits and vegetables fall into this category) may also help you feel fuller, which can help both with cigarette cravings and with the temptation to indulge in unhealthy snacking that people often struggle with when giving up tobacco. Sometimes, wanting a cigarette and wanting a snack can get confused in our minds.

Research also suggests that fruit and vegetables, non-caffeinated beverages, and milk and other dairy products, may make cigarettes taste worse. So having a glass of milk and an apple could be a good strategy when you feel the urge to reach for a cigarette!

Foods commonly reported to make cigarettes taste better - and that you therefore may want to avoid if you're trying to quit smoking - are caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, and meat products. Many smokers habitually have a cup of coffee or a drink when they smoke, and these can often trigger cravings for a cigarette. Experiment with this and see what works for you and what might potentially sabotage your quit attempt. It doesn't mean you necessarily have to give up coffee or wine completely if you're trying to give up smoking, but it may be very helpful to cut down, especially in the first few weeks of going smoke-free.

Read more: Smoking and diet.


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