7 Healthy Habits for a Prolonged Smoke-Free Life

Quitting smoking is a challenge, requiring more than mere willpower. It’s a journey that demands comprehensive support and customised solutions. Choosing to start your quit-smoking journey is an accomplishment, however, you might find yourself in situations whether it is a work event or a gathering with friends where staying smoke-free is tough. 

At Quit Clinics, we are Australia’s pioneering telehealth service for smoking cessation. Our approach underscores the necessity of integrating healthy habits into your quitting strategy, enhancing your chances of long-term success. That is why we’ve put together 7 healthy habits you can incorporate into your everyday life for a prolonged smoke-free lifestyle. Fight any craving and ensure you stay smoke-free in any situation with Quit Clinics.

1. Establish a Routine for Physical Activity

Physical activity plays a crucial role in reducing smoking cravings. Regular exercise not only reduces these urges but also alleviates stress, a common trigger for smoking. There are several activities you can incorporate into your day-to-day lifestyle to help fight smoking cravings. Whether that is brisk walking to yoga or a session at the gym, learn more about how to start an exercise routine after quitting smoking.

Engaging in exercise improves overall health, making it a vital component of your quitting journey. As your body becomes stronger and more resilient, the desire to smoke often lessens. In addition to this, physical activity releases endorphins, natural mood lifters, which can counteract the irritability often associated with quitting. 

Establishing a routine, such as a morning jog before work or evening cycling, creates a healthy distraction from smoking that will benefit you in numerous long-term ways. However, it is important to start slow and gradually increase the intensity of your chosen activity to avoid injuries. Remember, the goal is to create a sustainable habit that supports your smoke-free life.

2. Adopt a Balanced and Nutritious Diet

Consuming a high amount of sugary or high-fat foods can make you feel tired and sluggish which might make you reach for a cigarette to stay awake. To avoid these triggers, developing a well-balanced and nutritious diet is a habit that can help with your quit-smoking journey and is crucial during nicotine withdrawal. 

Focus on incorporating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins into your meals. These foods not only nourish your body but also help in managing weight gain, a common concern among those quitting smoking. Hydration is equally important; drinking plenty of water helps flush out toxins and reduces the urge to smoke. Be mindful of your trigger foods, such as caffeine and alcohol, which can increase cravings. 

For beginners, try eating small, frequent meals that will stabilise blood sugar levels, reducing mood swings and irritability. If you are a snacker, try snacks on healthy options like nuts or fruit that can also keep your hands and mouth busy, distracting you from the urge to smoke. 

Eating clean and incorporating a healthy diet is not about strict limitations but rather about making more informed food choices that support your overall well-being and quit smoking journey. 

3. Learn Stress-Management Techniques

Stress is a well-known trigger for smoking and the reason individuals rely on smoking. Learning to manage stress levels and finding alternative ways to help cope with stress is essential to prolonging your quit journey. 

Techniques like meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises are common exercises that can significantly reduce stress levels and reduce smoking cravings. These practices not only help in managing immediate stress but also equip you with long-term coping mechanisms. Numerous apps and online resources are available to guide you through these techniques, such as Headspace and Smiling Mind. Smiling Mind offers a range of mindfulness and meditation resources that can be particularly helpful.

Regular practice can lead to a more relaxed state of mind, reducing the likelihood of turning to cigarettes for stress relief. Additionally, these methods can enhance self-awareness, allowing you to recognise and address triggers more effectively. Incorporating even a few minutes of these practices into your daily routine can make a significant difference in your ability to remain smoke-free.

4. Cultivate a Supportive Social Network

Building a strong support system or utilising social support networks is a cornerstone of successful smoking cessation. Surrounding yourself with friends, family, or support groups who understand your challenges can make a substantial difference. Utilising these networks can provide encouragement, advice, and a sense of accountability that can further aid your quit journey. 

Engaging in social activities that don’t revolve around smoking can also help redefine your social habits. Openly communicating your goals and seeking support from loved ones can reinforce your commitment to quitting and prolong your smoke-free life. Additionally, joining online forums or local support groups connects you with others on similar journeys, offering mutual encouragement and tips.

Read more about building a strong support system for quitting smoking.

5. Engage in Mindfulness and Self-Care Practices

Mindfulness is about being present in the moment, a skill that can be particularly helpful in managing cravings. Being mindful teaches you to take a step back and observe your cravings without acting on them, understanding that they are temporary. Self-care activities, such as reading, taking a bath, or pursuing a hobby, can replace the time you might have spent smoking. Prioritising mental health is crucial; mindfulness and self-care are not just indulgences but essential practices for your well-being. These activities provide healthy outlets for stress and can improve your overall mood, making the quitting process more manageable.

6. Create a Smoke-Free Environment

Removing smoking cues from your environment is critical in maintaining a smoke-free life. 

This means making your home and workplace free from cigarettes and in social situations where smoking is prevalent, have a plan to manage your triggers. This could involve avoiding certain settings initially or preparing responses when offered a cigarette. Creating a smoke-free environment also means communicating your goals to those around you, and requesting their support in maintaining these spaces as smoke-free zones.

7. Track Progress and Celebrate Milestones

Keep your motivation high, count the days you’ve stayed smoke-free and remind yourself of your achievements. 

Acknowledging your achievements and looking back at how far you’ve come in your quit-smoking process is vital. Tracking your progress, whether through apps or journals, helps maintain motivation and provides a clear view of your journey. Celebrate milestones, no matter how small, as each is a step towards a smoke-free life. Setting up a reward system for reaching these milestones can be a powerful motivator and a way to give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back for how far you’ve come! These rewards could range from small treats to significant purchases or experiences, as reminders of your accomplishments. 

Need further support? Quit Clinics are here to support you

Making small adjustments to your lifestyle and adopting these 7 healthy habits can significantly help you enhance your journey towards a prolonged smoke-free life. At Quit Clinics, we are committed to supporting you every step of the way. Our team of experts is ready to provide the guidance and medical support you need to quit smoking for good. If you require further support or advice, reach out to us and take the first step towards a healthier, smoke-free future.

Dr Sam Murray


Dr Sam Murray is an Australian trained doctor with a passion for smoking cessation, harm-reduction, rural medicine and health technology. Sam studied medicine at the University of Newcastle, NSW before working in a variety of areas of medicine throughout regional and rural NSW.

In 2017 Dr Murray commenced his MBA at the University of Cambridge, UK before launching Quit Clinics in early 2020. Dr Murray passionately believes that the vast majority of smokers want to quit, and can quit with easy access to the right support, at the right time.

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