A mini-quit is a way is to practice a variety of coping strategies in different situations prior to your planned quit date. A mini-quit is a time-limited, risk-free experiment. You cannot “fail” in this effort. If you end up smoking during the mini-quit it simply means that you should try again, perhaps using a different coping strategy.
Trying short mini-quits will help you identify which coping strategies are likely to work for you when you do quit for good. Learning how to work through urges to use tobacco will help you make this quit attempt your last.
How to try a mini-quit:
Identify one or two situations or times of day prior to quitting where you can try mini-quits. These should be situations or times of day when you normally smoke or use tobacco.
If you are not sure when or where to practice mini-quits you can spend a day or two tracking when and where you smoke or use tobacco. Tracking your smoking for a day or two will help you gain insight into your smoking/tobacco-use patterns.
To try a mini-quit pick the situation in which you will commit to not using tobacco and try out a selection of coping strategies to see what works. Once that time or situation has passed you are free to smoke again.
During your mini-quit you can try a variety of coping strategies that can include:
- aHand, oral or hand-to-mouth substitutes, such as holding a short straw, cinnamon stick, tooth pick, hard candies or chewing gum;
- bDistractions, such as getting busy with a task, taking a walk or starting a project that needs to be done;
- cDeep breathing or other stress management techniques;
- dYou can try out your own ideas too.
After trying a number of mini-quits you will gain some insight into what strategies work and which do not.
Take a minute to write down which coping strategies worked for you so you don’t forget.