How to Quit Social Smoking

Smoking the occasional cigarette still puts you at risk for cancer and heart disease. Quit social smoking today to reduce your risk and live longer and healthier.


Up next in Addiction & Substance Abuse (13 videos)

Learn about addiction in this Howcast video series, which includes advice for shopaholics, porn addicts, sex addicts, compulsive gamblers, hoarders, overeaters, and other people with harmful dependencies.

You Will Need

  • Journal
  • Oral substitutes
  • Support
  • Stress relief techniques
  • Commitment


  1. Step 1

    Stop smoking

    Stop smoking altogether. Studies show that half of young people who begin social smoking end up smoking every day within a year.

  2. Step 2

    Throw away cigarettes

    Avoid temptation by throwing away all cigarettes you may be hiding. Throw away matches and lighters, too, and any other paraphernalia that reminds you of smoking.

  3. Step 3

    Avoid bars

    Limit going to bars and parties for the first few weeks you are trying to quit. Many social smokers just don't feel comfortable having a drink without also having a cigarette.

  4. Step 4

    Keep a journal

    Keep a journal to keep track of your urges and what is triggering them.

  5. Concentrate on identifying your triggers so that you are conscious of the situations that cause you to want a cigarette.

  6. Step 5

    Find an oral substitute

    Resist the urge by finding an oral substitute, such as gum, mints, or sunflower seeds.

  7. Step 6

    Get support

    Ask your friends and family for help and encouragement. It's harder to smoke when someone who cares about you is telling you not to.

  8. Step 7

    Relieve stress

    Look for alternative ways to relax or relieve stress, including squeezing a ball, exercising, or drinking a cup of herbal tea.

  9. Step 8

    Avoid other smokers

    Avoid being around other smokers or triggers until you are confident you can say "no" whenever a cigarette is offered. With commitment and the right mindset, you can do it!

  10. As of 2008, an estimated 45.9 million people in the United States smoked cigarettes.