How2Quit : Nicotine

  • 16 Aug 2011
  • Reading time 8 mins
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Use the following guidelines alongside our How to Quit Action Plan in Part 4 of the How to Quit book.

Please note all page and chapter references in this article are from How to Quit.

  • Before you even begin to try to give up cigarettes, we recommend following the How to Quit diet and supplement guidelines that follow strictly for one month, or until you no longer consume any other stimulants (such as tea, coffee and chocolate) or sugar. Instead you’ll be eating small, frequent meals, with an emphasis on foods containing slow-releasing carbohydrates combined with foods rich in proteins. Your background blood sugar balance will be much better, which means you’ll experience less withdrawal symptoms on quitting.
  • Break all the associated habits. The average smoker is addicted not only to nicotine, but also to smoking when tired, hungry or upset, on waking, after a meal with a drink, and so on. Before you actually give up smoking altogether, it’s best to break these mental associations.
  • At first don’t attempt to change your smoking habits. Just keep a diary for a week, writing down every situation in which you smoke, how you feel before, and how you feel after smoking. You can copy the example on page 304 seven times to record your one-week smoking diary.

When the week is up, add up how many cigarettes you smoke in each situation. Your list might look something like this:

  • With a hot drink: 16
  • After a meal: 6
  • With alcohol: 4
  • Difficult situation: 4
  • After sex: 3

Steps to Help Quitting

  1. Now set yourself weekly targets. For the first week, smoke as much as you like whenever you like but not when you drink a hot drink. For the next week, smoke as much as you like whenever you like but not when you drink a hot drink or within 30 minutes of finishing a meal. Continue like this until, when you smoke, all you do is smoke, without the associated habits. Having said that, set yourself a maximum of six weeks to complete this phase. This will be tremendously helpful for you when you quit. Most people start again because the phone rings with a problem, someone brings in a coffee, offers you a cigarette… and before you know it you’re smoking.
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