Quitting Tobacco

We know quitting isn’t easy. Truth is, the average smoker attempts to quit between 8 and 11 times before ultimately quitting for good. Many are left feeling like smoking is an addiction they cannot overcome. But with the right help, resources, and the support to keep you going, you will have the best chance to quit for good.


Tobacco Free Florida offers a number of free and convinient resources to help tobacco users quit.
The Florida Quitline and Web Coach® are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Quit Your Way
Quit Tips
  • list_mark Drinks lots of water. Make sure your fridge is always stocked and that you take water with you when you’re on-the-go.
  • list_mark Have gum or mints handy for when cravings kick in.
  • list_mark3 Get your teeth cleaned and/or whitened.
  • list_mark5 Avoid caffeinated beverages like coffee and soda, and avoid alcoholic drinks.
  • list_mark7 Enjoy healthy snacks, like carrots and celery, fruits, and sugar-free snacks.
  • list_mark9 Keep your hands and mouth occupied with cinnamon sticks, toothpicks or straws.
  • list_mark11 Get your clothes cleaned and your car cleaned inside and out to get rid of the smell of cigarettes.
  • list_mark13 Have the carpet, drapery, bed sheets and other fabrics inside your home cleaned and deodorized to remove the lingering smell of cigarette smoke.
  • list_mark16 For some time, try to stay away from places where there will be smoking like bars, nightclubs and the outdoor areas of restaurants that allow smoking.
  • list_mark18 Become physically active, whether it’s at a gym, with friends or on your own. Something as simple and easy as walking will help.


When you’re first trying to quit smoking, wait until you finish your coffee to have a cigarette. Over the next few days, gradually increase the amount of time between finishing your coffee and having a cigarette. Eventually, with enough time between the coffee and the cigarette, you discover you'll can drink coffee without having a cigarette.
Do something else while drinking coffee, such as reading the paper or making a grocery list.
Change the time or location where you have coffee.

Drinking Alcohol

When you’re first trying to quit smoking, don’t light up while you drink. Wait to smoke until after you have finished your drink. Begin gradually increasing the amount of time between finishing your drink and smoking.
Choose a smoke-free bar or restaurant for happy hour.
Try a different drink or switch to non-alcoholic for a short while.


When you’re first trying to quit smoking, don’t smoke directly after a meals, wait a few minutes and then gradually increase the amount of time between the meal and cigarette.
Keep your mind and hands busy after a meal: Help with the dishes, walk the dog, play cards, check e-mail, etc.
Brush your teeth or chew gum directly after meals.


When you’re first trying to quit smoking, don’t light up the moment the key is in the ignition—wait a few minutes. Over time, increase the amount of time between starting the car and smoking.
Put your cigarettes in your purse or briefcase and then keep those in the backseat or trunk, making it difficult to reach them.
Make a playlist for your drive and encourage yourself not to smoke while that playlist is on. Eventually, the ride will be over before you have the chance to light up a cigarette.

Stress and Routines

Over time, your body has learned that creating stress leads to having a smoke or a chew. Remember that your body is having a craving for nicotine and is producing its own stress; having a cigarette or chew is only relieving the stress your body is artificially creating.
During stressful moments, give yourself five minutes to take deep breaths and think of something calm, something other than smoking. By not smoking at the very first sign of stress, you'll begin to break the connection between stress and smoking.
Go for a walk instead of a smoke.

Friends that Smoke

Alert your friends–smokers and non-smokers–of your attempt at quitting smoking and ask for their support. As a result, you may help your friends decide to quit too.
Arrange to meet up with friends at smoke-free places such as a friend’s home or restaurant.
Make your a home smoke-free zone.


Call or text a friend or loved one.
Tackle chores like laundry, dusting, vacuuming. When you're done, you will have a clean home and will have avoided a craving.
Pick up a hobby that keeps your hands busy like crossword puzzles, knitting or chess.
Common Symptoms and How to Deal with Them
  • Symptom
  • Reason
  • Coping Strategy


An increased appetite is normal after you quit. Food actually smells and tastes better now. And, what feels like hunger pangs may be the stomach readjusting after years of swallowing nicotine-laden saliva.

Drinking water may reduce the feeling of hunger. Also, keep healthy snacks around.


Nicotine is a stimulant that increases metabolism. After quitting, the body’s ability to have bowel movements may decrease.

Drink plenty of water and consume a diet high in fiber, such as whole grains, bran and fruits.


The body is cleansing away years of processing toxic chemicals found in tobacco products.

Drink plenty of water.

Dizziness & light-headedness

Carbon monoxide withdrawal is believed to cause slight tremors and mild headaches.

Deep breathing and exercise will help.

Itchy hands & feet, sore scalp

Smoking had caused impaired circulation, which is now returning to normal.

Exercise gradually.


After quitting, you may be tired but sometimes unable to fall asleep. This is temporary.

Practice deep-breathing exercises and relaxation techniques before going to bed. Herbal teas, a warm bath or a glass of warm milk before bed may also help. Keep in mind that this symptom tends to be temporary. If serious insomnia persists, please consult your doctor.


This need for rest period is part of recuperation signifying that you were being “burned out” by the stimulants in tobacco.

Exercise and plan for extra sleep.


You may feel deprived and that even little things are bothersome or annoying.

Reward yourself for quitting.


Anger used to be a trigger for a cigarette. After quitting, it may be challenging to know what to do with your anger.

Learn constructive ways to release anger, such as exercise or talking it out.

Crying & Grieving

You may need to grieve the end of smoking. There may be other sad feelings that had been repressed that are now coming out.

Recognize that these emotions were repressed for some time. Allow these feelings to come out in a safe place so that you don’t feel vulnerable in public.

Giddiness & Laughter

If negative emotions had been repressed, then it’s probable that positive emotions had been repressed too. This may cause unusual giddiness and unexpected laughter.

Enjoy the positive emotions as they surface.

*Information provided in this document is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.