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A reflection of the sun rising on a calm winter morning


It’s no wonder that mornings can be tough when you’re quitting. If you’re the type of smoker who has their first cigarette as part of their morning ritual, here are some healthy ways to start your day without lighting up.

1. Hydrate

Swap your first cigarette for a glass of water. This will change your routine and help you stay hydrated. Don’t forget, the human body is more than 60% water. So, toast a new day with a glass of H2O, lemon or lime wedge optional.

2. Short exercise bursts

Exercise can improve your mood and relieve stress. Start out by doing one minute each of push-ups, sit-ups, and jumping jacks. Exercising first thing in the morning is an easy way to squeeze fitness into your day. If you're busy, even five minutes can help you feel more relaxed.

3. Breathe and relax

  • Here’s a simple breathing exercise you can do anywhere. Begin by closing your eyes.
  • Breathe in slowly. Then breathe out. Say, “Peaceful in front of me."
  • Breathe in slowly. Then breathe out. Say, “Peaceful behind me.”
  • Breathe in slowly. Then breathe out. Say, “Peaceful all around me.”
  • Repeat as necessary to keep cool and calm.

Man meditating outside by a lake during a beautiful sunrise

4. Just say no

If a morning craving strikes, tell yourself “No.” Say it out loud. Say it as often as you need each morning and throughout the day. Write the word “no” on stickies that you can place around you at work and home. Other words of inspiration you can say include “I’m not a smoker”, “I will not let myself down,” or “I’m stronger than this craving.”

5. Switch up the scenery

If you usually began your mornings smoking in the kitchen as you drink your coffee, try drinking your coffee in your bedroom or outside instead. Settings can trigger cravings. Changing your routine can help you avoid triggers and begin the day smoke-free.