5 Tips for How to Quit Smoking While Driving

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Smoking is often used as a stress reliever, especially for truck drivers who are on the road constantly. Deciding when and how to quit smoking while driving can be extremely difficult. Often, it doesn’t even seem like an option, but have no fear! There are absolutely ways that you too can quit smoking.

While there are many ways to quit smoking, we have compiled a list of five tips for how to quit smoking while driving.

How to Quit Smoking While Driving

Man crushing cigarettes in his hand.

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5 Tips for How to Quit Smoking While Driving

1.   Make a Plan

If you are really serious about quitting, have a set plan. For example, establishing a “quit day” can really help you hold yourself accountable. The American Cancer Society recommends picking a meaningless date and setting it as your designated quit day. You want to pick something that isn’t immediate but also isn’t too far away. Setting a date too far in the future will give you too much time to go back on your decision. In addition to setting a date, knowing how you plan to quit will help give you a sense of calm instead of worrying about how. Are you going to use nicotine patches? Gum? Maybe try working out more? There are endless possibilities, but picking a method or two up-front can really help take the guess work out of how to quit smoking while driving.

2.   Eliminate Potential Triggers

There are many things around you that could potentially be a trigger to have a cigarette. Sometimes it’s the sight of seeing your pack of cigarettes lying on the dash. Other times, it might be one of your buddies having a quick smoke after dinner. It is important to understand that eliminating triggers is one of your best bets. While it may not be fun to ask your friend to go smoke somewhere else, it’ll really help you curb your urges. According to the American Lung Association, cleaning out your living space (your cab) can also help reduce your triggers. If you can’t see your old ashtray, lighter or pack of cigs, you are far less likely to have the urge to light up.

3.   Have an Accountability Partner

Surrounding yourself with people who do not smoke is one of the best things you can do for yourself. As mentioned above, telling your smoker friends that you can’t be around them when they’re smoking can be particularly difficult. However, it can really help you quit. An accountability partner is someone who will provide you with support and guidance to keep you on the right path – someone you can share your goals and your struggles with. Choosing a good accountability partner can really help you stick to your goals, and keep you responsible for your actions. In terms of driving, choosing a partner who can be available to take your phone calls when you’re on a particularly stressful run can be very important. You want to choose someone who can guide you through the ups and the downs of quitting smoking. Also, be sure to utilize resources out there for truck drivers, such as the Rigs Without Cigs program.

4.   Keep Yourself Busy

The most common cause of relapse is boredom or having too much free time to think about smoking. Keeping yourself busy is a crucial step for how to quit smoking while driving. Find something else to do while you are driving, such as chewing on flavored toothpicks. The downtime when you’re not driving will also be difficult. There are many things you can do to keep yourself busy such as exercising – maybe do some laps around a truck stop, chewing gum, and playing games on your phone, just to name a few!

5.   Be Patient with Yourself

Everybody makes mistakes, and it’s okay for you to make some too! Quitting smoking is no easy feat, but with the right mindset, it is absolutely doable. Your urge to smoke won’t disappear overnight just because you decided to quit. When you feel the urge, try to do something to keep your mind on other things, like reading a book or playing a game. According to the American Lung Association, urges will be the most intense during the first 7-10 days especially. After that, the first few months will probably be quite difficult as well, but over time your urge to have a cigarette will fade. If you crack and have one puff or one cigarette, it isn’t the end of the world. It definitely doesn’t mean that you have to give up on quitting!

So, what’s the BEST advice on how to quit smoking while driving?

There is no one best piece of advice. Every person is different, and every driver will be on his or her own journey towards being smoke-free. It is important to find what works best for you and stick with it!

Do you have any tips on how to quit smoking while driving? Share them with us in the comments below!

Author: Hit The Road Jack

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