Tobacco Cessation

How Tracking Can Help You Quit Smoking—and 5 More Tips to Quit

Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US, according to the American Cancer Society. Yet surprisingly, nearly one in every seven adults smokes. The good news: The health benefits start just moments after you quit. We’re sharing six surprising strategies that may help you or a loved one kick the habit for good, including tracking your tobacco use and exercise.


Kicking a tobacco habit can be hard, but there are lots of abatement tools and resources to use—many of which are free. Because our phones are always within reach, apps and trackers can be an excellent tool in quitting smoking for good. They can provide a daily reminder about your health habits (good and bad), and help track your progress.

Not sure which app is best for you? Sharecare, available for iOS and Android, can help you take control of your health—and habits—by tracking your daily tobacco use. Here’s how it works.

For Android and iOS users:

  • Smoking is tracked manually via the Tracker.
  • If you don’t smoke, you can turn this tracker off.

For desktop users:

  • If you don’t have a mobile device, smoking can be tracked manually via the desktop Tracker.
  • If you don’t smoke, you can turn this tracker off.


Milk doesn’t just do your body good; it may also help you quit smoking. According to one study from Duke University, smokers reported that drinking milk worsened the taste of cigarettes, making them less likely to want to light up. On the other hand, the study found that alcohol and coffee enhanced the taste of cigarettes.


Exercise is a proven crave-crusher. Simply walking every day engages your brain’s emotion centers, releasing mood-brightening compounds that dial down tobacco urges. Strength training likely helps the same way—by reducing stress and anxiety when you really want to smoke, and by relieving the uncomfortable effects of nicotine withdrawal. All it takes is two muscle-building sessions a week.


Lots of ex-smokers talk about how they miss the ritual of puffing on a cigarette when they quit. Chewing on cinnamon sticks—or flavored toothpicks—can help with the psychological aspects of withdrawal by keeping both your mouth and your hands busy. Plus, it freshens your breath. You can also place a cinnamon stick in your mouth, inhale and exhale until your craving is gone.


Results vary, but some researchers say hypnosis can help—in fact, some studies report a success rate of up to 66 percent. The key for hypnosis to work? You have to want to quit. Hypnosis helps you achieve a state of deep, focused relaxation in which you become open to suggestions that could help change your attitude toward cigarettes. Your doctor may be able to refer you to a qualified hypnotherapist who specializes in smoking cessation.


Some people are able to quit smoking with the help of acupuncture, even though research hasn’t proven that it helps. Acupuncture involves the placement of tiny needles in the body to release feel-good chemicals that could help manage the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. Ask your doctor to refer you to a qualified acupuncturist.

Sourcing: CDC, National Institutes of Health

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