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Updated 11 October 2013

A comforting social ritual

Many people find the rituals involved with smoking calming and satisfying, and handle cigarettes as a way to feel less self-conscious in public.

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Many people find the rituals involved with smoking calming and satisfying. Others handle cigarettes as a way to feel less self-conscious in public.

Seek new rituals for yourself:

  • Find alternative objects to handle. For instance, you could keep a pen and pad in your pocket or on your desk. When you want to reach for a cigarette, pick up the pen instead. Write down your reasons for giving up smoking, or just doodle. You could also handle a coin in your pocket, or twist a ring on your fimger.
  • Don't confuse hunger with the desire to put a cigarette in your mouth. Eat regular meals and keep snack foods (preferably healthy, low-calorie ones) on hand. Sucking sweets or mints (preferably sugar-free) can be very useful.
  • Do something else that keeps your hands busy, such as knitting or carpentry. Some people have turned to the yo-yo or practised making cat’s cradles as a smoking substitute.

Read more:
Office smoking kills
Behind the smoke screen, there's a time bomb

 
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