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Find out why it happened so that you can get back on track to staying smoke-free.

Joyce Chan

Quitting smoking is not easy and there will be times when the urge to smoke may be hard to resist.

"While smoking a cigarette or two during your 'quit journey' is not a failure, it is important to learn from the situation," says Joyce Chan, a certified smoking cessation pharmacist at UHN. "Find out why it happened so that you can get back on track to​ staying smoke-free."

Chan says it is important to identify what makes you want to smoke, and find ​ways to deal with the triggers before they happen.


Below are some ways that have helped others manage the urge to smoke. These tips may help you as well:​

  • Throw out your matches, lighters and ashtrays
  • Remind friends and family that you are quitting and ask for their support. Give friends and family specific examples of how they can support you.
  • When you feel the urge to smoke, drink water to keep your mouth busy. You can also keep your hands busy by squeezing a stress ball, washing the dishes, doing a crossword puzzle, knitting, drawing or playing a musical instrument.
  • Take deep breaths or go for a walk to help you relax and control the cravings or "stress" of quitting
  • Write a note to yourself with all your reasons for quitting and read it during cravings


The Princess Margaret Patient & Family Library offers free resources about smoking cessation. Below are links to information pamphlets about quitting smoking or using tobacco.

Princess Margaret Patient & Family Library

Information on Quitting Smoking for First Nations, Inuit and Métis (FNIM) Populations

Information on Lower-Risk Use of Cannabis and Vaping

Last reviewed: 5/11/2023
Last modified: 4/15/2024 7:01 AM
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