What is the Cold Turkey Method for Quitting Smoking?

Cold Turkey
Quit Smoking: Cold Turkey
  • The cold turkey method involves abruptly stopping smoking without the use of any aids or medications.
  • It is one of the most popular methods for quitting smoking and is often successful for those who are highly motivated to quit.
  • Studies have shown that those who quit smoking cold turkey are more likely to remain smoke-free in the long term compared to those who use Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) or medication.

Preparing for a Cold Turkey Quit

Quitting cold turkey means giving up smoking all at once. There are people who encourage quitters to stop smoking gradually, but according to the World Health Organization, choosing one day and quitting for good has less chance to relapse. So I encourage you to quit by the cold turkey way, and if possible, avoid all ways of nicotine replacements.



  • Before quitting cold turkey, it’s important to set a quit date and make a plan for dealing with cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
  • Consider enlisting the support of friends, family, or a support group to help you through the process.
  • Make your environment as smoke-free as possible by removing smoking-related items from your home and avoiding triggers such as certain places or situations.

Change your environment

Change your environment. Move away from bars and restaurants that encourage smoking. Make dinner earlier. Avoid sitting near a cigarette machine. While at work, avoid drinking and driving.

Whenever you feel the craving, switch your drink. Try to find an alternative source of distraction. For example, play a game on your phone or read a book.

You’ll forget that you’re craving a cigarette. Despite these drawbacks, the benefits of quitting are endless.

Change your routine

Change your routine. Before you decide to quit smoking cold turkey, you should discard things that remind you of smoking. You should wash and clean your clothes.

You should also make sure that you have a cigarette substitute handy.

If you still crave cigarettes, make sure you have a pack of gum or other nicotine replacement product with you to distract yourself.

Alternatively, you can make use of social media such as Facebook or Candy Crush to avoid cravings.

Learn your triggers

Learn your triggers. You should avoid smoking in bars and restaurants and not smoke in the car. You should be able to predict your cravings and coping mechanisms.

If you cannot avoid certain situations and activities, you should try to avoid these as much as possible. This will help you deal with the withdrawal symptoms that you will experience while quitting smoking.

The good news is that the physical effects will subside after a while.

Changing your habits

Changing your habits is the best way to successfully quit smoking. You should avoid smoking in bars and while driving. Your car should be clean and your clothes should smell fresh.

When you have cravings, try to find other distractions. If you’re a social smoker, distract yourself with a game like Candy Crush. If you’re an avid cigarette smoker, a cigarette should not be an option.

The first few days of your quit should be easy. Your body needs time to adjust to the change. During this time, you may also need to throw away the items that remind you of smoking.

Change your lifestyle

To prepare for the withdrawal phase, you must change your lifestyle. Stay away from bars and cars where smokers gather. When you feel the urge for a cigarette, be sure to avoid the situation.

Your daily routine should be free of all tobacco products. If you have been smoking for a long time, then you can use the cold turkey method. But, beware that you’ll probably relapse within a few weeks.

Avoid Cigarettes in Public Places

You should also avoid a cigarette in public places such as while driving. It’s crucial to have a smoke-free environment to ensure that you can avoid the emotional side effects of quitting. You should try to be aware of your triggers and try to ignore them as much as possible.

Health Issue during Quite Smoking Periods

If you decide to quit smoking, it’s important to plan ahead. You’ll have to change your habits for a few weeks. During this time, you’ll experience cravings for cigarettes. You’ll need to prepare yourself for the negative effects of quitting smoking and ask for support.

The most common withdrawal symptoms include nausea, sleeplessness, increased appetite, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating. During this time, you need to focus on your goals and keep yourself busy.

Dealing with Cravings and Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Common withdrawal symptoms include irritability, anxiety, insomnia, and difficulty concentrating.
  • Cravings usually peak in the first three days and gradually decrease over the next two weeks.
  • To deal with cravings, it’s important to have a plan in place, such as taking a walk, drinking water, or practicing deep breathing.

The Benefits of Quitting Smoking Cold Turkey

  • Quitting smoking can improve lung function and cardiovascular health, as well as reduce the risk of lung cancer and other smoking-related diseases.
  • Quitting smoking can also improve your sense of taste and smell and make your skin look healthier.
  • Quitting smoking can also save a significant amount of money in the long term.

Support Resources for Quitting Cold Turkey

  • There are many resources available to help individuals quit smoking cold turkey, including quitlines, support groups, and online forums.
  • Nicotine Anonymous is a 12-step program that is based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous and is specifically designed for those who want to quit smoking.
  • Many communities also offer free quit-smoking classes or programs.

Life after Quitting Smoking

  • Quitting smoking can be difficult, but the benefits are well worth it in the long term.
  • Your sense of taste and smell will improve, you’ll breathe easier, and your risk of smoking-related health issues will decrease.
  • You’ll also be able to enjoy the many activities that smoking makes difficult and the sense of accomplishment that comes with quitting.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Quitting Cold Turkey

  • One of the most common mistakes people make when quitting cold turkey is not having a plan in place to deal with cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
  • Another mistake is not enlisting the support of friends, family, or a support group.
  • Some people also make the mistake of not addressing underlying emotional or mental health issues that may have contributed to their smoking habit.

The Importance of Staying Smoke-Free

  • Quitting smoking is a big accomplishment, but staying smoke-free is just as important.
  • Studies have shown that those who quit smoking cold turkey but relapse within the first year are less likely to quit again.
  • Finding new coping mechanisms and continuing to participate in support groups or therapy can help increase the chances of staying smoke-free.

The Role of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) in Cold Turkey Quitting

  • NRT is not necessary for those who choose to quit smoking cold turkey, but it can be used as an aid if needed.
  • Nicotine gum, lozenges, patches, and other forms of NRT can help alleviate withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
  • It’s important to note that NRT should be used in conjunction with a comprehensive quit plan and should not be used as a sole method for quitting smoking.

The Benefits of Quitting Smoking for Your Mental Health

  • Quitting smoking can have a positive impact on mental health, including reducing stress and anxiety.
  • Studies have also shown that quitting smoking can improve mood and overall well-being.
  • It’s important to address any underlying mental health issues that may have contributed to the smoking habit and to seek therapy or counseling if needed.

Read also: Quit Smoking The Ultimate Guide.