Survival tactics can help you stay tobacco-free during the holidays

  • Published
  • By Laura Crowder
  • Health and Wellness Center
During this year's Great American Smokeout, many members of the Tinker community accepted the challenge to quit for a day. Now they are working hard to stay quit for good.

With the holiday season here, they may participate in seasonal festivities and face obstacles that might sabotage all the hard work they have done to become tobacco-free. Holiday gatherings provide way too many opportunities to overindulge, making it even harder to fight the urge to use tobacco. But by planning ahead, quitters can arm themselves with an arsenal of stay-quit strategies and successfully navigate the season's social landmines.

Use the following 10 suggestions when talking to those who are trying to remain tobacco-free at parties and celebrations over the next several weeks and throughout the entire new year.

· Avoid triggers like alcohol and caffeine
Opt for refreshing beverages such as cranberry juice with club soda or sparkling water with lemon.
· Don't overeat
Consuming too many calories may tempt you to turn to tobacco to curb your appetite.
· Occupy your hands or mouth
Try holding a straw or a swizzle stick and use sugar-free gum or candies instead.
· Stay busy
Offer to help your host or hostess, make new friends, or get moving on the dance floor.
· Laugh your stress away
Laughter is a great response to stress because studies show it produces a relaxed feeling.
· Bring along a friend who doesn't use tobacco
Stick together and stay away from those using tobacco.
· Promise yourself something special
Then, reward yourself for getting through the event smoke-free.
· Breathe
Take several slow, deep breaths to relax and help fade temptation.
· Plan an escape
If you find it impossible to stay away from people using tobacco, make a legitimate excuse and go home early.
· Be positive
Tell yourself that you CAN do it, and you will.
To pick up a Quit Kit to help you battle the holiday tobacco triggers or to learn more about Tinker AFB's Tobacco Cessation Program stop by the Health and Wellness Center or call 734-5506.