Natural Ways to Help as You Quit Smoking

Find your Why

Find your motivation to quit. Think about what makes you want to quit – from being there as your children grow up to saving money for a dream vacation – and write the reasons down in a list, or put up a picture of your motivation. Whenever you feel tempted, revisit these reminders of your motivation to help keep you from smoking.

Chew on Raw Carrots and Other Veggies

Chewing raw carrots keeps your mouth busy when cravings strike. If you don’t enjoy carrots, try other crunchy veggies, like celery, or even seeds and nuts. Alternatively, reach for sugar-free candy or gum.

Avoid Herbal Remedies

Many people turn to herbal remedies to quit smoking. However, herbs and supplements such as valerian, ginseng, St John’s Wort and oat straw have not been scientifically proven to help you quit smoking.

Avoid Triggers

If you know that a beer or a glass of wine always brings on a craving for a cigarette, avoid drinking alcohol during the early stages of your quit. Similarly, if you always had a cigarette at a certain time of day, try rearranging your schedule to avoid going through the same routine and facing nicotine cravings.

Treat Yourself to Some Relaxation

Many people use smoking as a way to relax. If that’s you, make sure you have ideas and plans for ways to relax naturally, without cigarettes. Book a weekly massage, soak in a bathtub with a good book, or plan other ways to treat yourself to something naturally relaxing.

Exercise in Nature

Heading for the great outdoors and into nature for fresh air and exercise may help as you quit smoking. Moderate walking, swimming, gym classes or cycling are natural ways to distract you from withdrawal symptoms. Doing moderate to vigorous exercise triggers the release of endorphins in your body, which can help you feel more positive and energized.

Eat a Vitamin C-Rich Diet

Did you know that smoking can reduce the amount of vitamin C that your body absorbs from food?i Eating plenty of vitamin-rich foods, like oranges, kiwis, bell peppers, green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage, will help maintain your vitamin C intake. This vitamin is essential for helping to protect your body and keep it healthy – as well as maintaining healthy skin and blood vessels, which a smoking habit may have damaged.ii,iii

Be Prepared

Plan ahead for dealing with cravings by stocking up on the nicotine replacement product that’s best for you. If you find that nibbling on raw vegetables, nuts or some other food helps distract you from your cigarette cravings, make sure you’re stocked up on those, too. Try to avoid using sweet foods to overcome your cravings for cigarettes as you may end up putting on weight, which may negatively impact your motivation for quitting.

Spring Clean Your Home

Quitting smoking when you can still smell cigarettes throughout your home and on your clothes can be difficult. Launder your clothes and remove the smell of cigarette smoke from your car and soft furnishings. Fill your home and car with natural scents.

Use Support

Willpower alone isn’t always enough to fend off cravings from nicotine withdrawal. Look for support from others and consider using nicotine replacement therapies like Nicorette® Gum to boost your chances of success. Apps like MyQuit can offer personalized support, too.

  1. Scurvy. NHS. Accessed 03/20/2020.
  2. Vitamin C. NHS. minerals/vitamin-c/. Accessed 03/19/2020.
  3. Quit Smoking. Mayo Clinic. Accessed 03/19/2020.
  4. Quitting Smoking: 10 ways to resist tobacco cravings. Mayo Clinic. Accessed 9/29/2021.
  5. Help for Cravings and Tough Situations While You’re Quitting Tobacco. American Cancer Society. Accessed 09/29/2021. Referenced text is highlighted in the source material.
  6. Want to Quit Smoking? Acupuncture Can Help You With Cravings. Cleveland Clinic. Accessed 09/29/2021.
  7. Acupuncture and related interventions for smoking cessation. National Library of Medicine. Accessed 09/29/2021.

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