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Social situations and alcohol

Smoking and alcohol

For many smokers, smoking and drinking go hand-in-hand.

If you do drink, be careful not to drink a lot. Research confirms that if you drink enough to start feeling the effects - where you would no longer be able to drive a car (0.05), or you’re feeling tipsy - you’re in danger of having a cigarette.

As many smokers will know, this is a high-risk situation particularly in the first few weeks and months of quitting. Be prepared to be the designated driver for a while. If you have a drink, keep it to a few (make every second drink a non-alcoholic one). Once you start to become intoxicated (even mildly) you can lose sight of your reasons for quitting.

Smoking and social situations

If you have friends who smoke, consider what it might be like to spend time with them once you quit. Some people find it helpful to pick a phrase like: “I’m quitting smoking”, or “No thanks, I don’t smoke”.

For the first few weeks avoid friends who smoke, particularly in situations where you used to smoke together.

Tips for preparing for social situations:

  • Consider whether you have a nonsmoking friend who would be a good support person to help you stay quit.    
  • Find something to reach for, to keep the hands busy, when you have a craving:
    • This could simply be gum, a lolly, a watch, a necklace, a bracelet, bottled water, a phone, moisturiser, a stress ball or a pen.

and for the tough times …

  • Be prepared to excuse yourself and go to the bathroom – wash your face, take some deep breaths. Removing yourself from the situation that caused the craving can be helpful.
  • Be ready to step outside, walk around the block, leave and go somewhere else, or call a cab (you’ll have extra money now that you’re not smoking).


Quit stronger with a smoking diary

Having a record of situations where you feel like smoking will help you learn about your habits and triggers, and be prepared. Save your updates and register with the site to keep updating your diary each time you visit the site.

Use an online diary: to begin, add a new entry below...

  1. Type what you were doing, e.g. "Chatting with other smokers" or select from previous activities.
  2. Need rating
  3. Eg. "Smoked", or "Didn't smoke, went for a walk"




Real life stories


I've been sick for about three years on and off. My doctor said I needed to quit, or I won't get better or live long.

That scared me, because my dad died from cancer - he smoked all his...

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