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Crush the Craving: 20 Things To Do Instead of Smoking

Did you know? Every six seconds, someone in the world dies because of tobacco use. Smoking is the cause of nearly 1 in 3 cancer deaths. Of every 3 smokers under the age of 26 today, only one will quit and one will die from tobacco-related causes.

November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and about 95 percent of lung cancers are caused by smoking. Quitting smoking can be tough. Every day you have to make the choice to not smoke today.

YOU have the power to stay well: Nearly half of all cancer deaths could be prevented if people did what we know works: stop smoking, eat right, exercise, and get regular check-ups.

When your next craving hits, be prepared with plans to take your mind off your old habit.

Here are 20 ideas from the American Cancer Society to get you started:

Get some exercise: walk, jog, bike, hike, swim, rock climb, do yoga.

Visit a craft store or look online for ideas and start a journal or scrapbook.

Charlotte Hofer

Call an old friend.

Pamper yourself—with a manicure or pedicure.

Bring back board games with family or friends.

Eat a popsicle. Or frozen grapes.

Try a healthy recipe you’ve never tried before.

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Start that project you’ve been putting off – like organizing photos, cleaning out your closet, or starting your holiday shopping.

Try a crossword puzzle, internet scrabble or do a jigsaw puzzle online.

Invite someone over for dinner and a movie.

Develop your photography skills – grab your phone and take some photos.

Take a nap.

Work around your home: in the kitchen, garage, basement, or the yard.

Play with Silly Putty or get a Gumby.

Learn to relax quickly and deeply – start by taking a shower or bubble bath.

Remember that hobby you tried a few years back? Try it again.

Write (journaling, letters to the editor, blogs, comics, your memoirs).

Turn up the radio and sing at the top of your lungs. Or dance.

Play video games. (Tell your boss it’s ok, you’re stopping a craving.)

Make a list of all the things you love to do instead of smoking!

If you or someone you love is trying to quit, visit the American Cancer Society website at for tools, information, and support. This journey is a tough one—don’t go it alone!