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Strategies for being smoke free on campus

no smoking sign on cement wall

SAIT is a smoke-free campus, and while you don’t have to quit smoking, you may be wondering how you’ll adjust.

Quitting smoking isn’t easy. Even if you’re focused on quitting it can take several attempts. And, some people may not want to quit smoking or can’t quit right now.

So how will you get through the day as a smoker on a smoke-free campus? Wondering if you’ll be able to concentrate or how to combat cravings?

Don’t panic. Here are some tips to help you get through the day.

Strategies for being smoke free on campus

  1. If you’re currently off campus, work towards reducing now. When you do return to campus, your days will be much easier with less or no cravings — and think of those extra dollars in your pocket. Who knows, cutting back may even inspire you to quit for good. 

  2. A nicotine craving will only last a few minutes. If you can distract yourself that long, you’ll have beaten it.
    1. Chew regular gum — this will give your mouth something to focus on. A fresh minty taste actually reduces the desire to smoke.
    2. Take a few deep breaths — this simulates the type of breath you take while inhaling smoke or vapour.
    3. Keep your hands busy — they’re used to holding a cigarette, so try squeezing a stress ball, twirling a pen between your fingers or playing with a rubber band.

  3. Break your smoker’s habits and practice new ones. By practicing the habits of a non-smoker, your day on campus will be easier. These new habits don’t have to be forever, but after a few weeks, they’ll help the cravings fade.
    1. Don’t have a smoke with coffee — teach yourself to have your morning java without a craving to smoke.
    2. Don’t smoke in your car or at a bus stop — make not doing it the norm, and eventually you won’t be looking for that cigarette.
    3. Try not to smoke right after you eat something — keep those cravings after breaks or at lunch time at bay.
  4. Avoid replacing cigarettes with snacks, especially the sweet kind. Instead, drink a glass of water or have a veggie break.

  5. A short burst of exercise releases the same feel-good chemical in the brain that is triggered by nicotine. Climb a flight of stairs, walk around the block, or try doing star jumps or crunches for one minute.

Looking to quit smoking?

Smoking cessation resources are available to students through Saitsa’s Student Health and Dental Plan.

Students can also access wellness support through Student Development and Counselling and community smoking cessation resources through Alberta Quits and myhealth.alberta.ca.

Employees have access to resources through SAIT’s Employee and Family Assistance Program, Lifeworks.

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