How to have a happy holiday without stress or smoke

By the Asian Smokers’ Quitline


Holidays are supposed to be an enjoyable time when family and friends gather together with food and drinks, but it can also be stressful as people rush from place to place. A cigarette can sound like the perfect way to destress, especially during a busy holiday season, but cessation coaches at the Asian Smokers’ Quitline have tips and encouragement for people attempting to quit, or want to stay quit through the season.

“There can be a lot of social pressure to smoke during holiday gatherings with family and friends so it’s important to be aware of triggers and to have adequate support,” said Dr. Joann Lee, project manager of the Asian Smokers’ Quitline. “One way is to let others know that you’re trying to quit, and find support from family and friends.”

Here are some other general tips from cessation coaches on ways to avoid triggers and stay quit during the holidays:


1)    In the midst of holiday busyness, get adequate rest.

2)    Avoid spicy and sugary foods, and alcohol. Holidays are often all about the eating and feasting, but avoid foods that will make you crave cigarettes even more. Eat fruit or less sugary dessert on the menu. As for alcohol, put it away, and instead, reach for a sugar-free seltzer, club soda, or apple cider.

3)    If weather allows, go for a walk. To prevent taking up a new bad habit such as eating whatever you can find to avoid having a cigarette, stay active and exercise.

4)    Hang out with nonsmokers. If all your friends are smokers, it may be time to make some new friends. Keep some distance from smokers, and create a community of people who are ex-smokers or nonsmokers to help you keep busy and away from smoking.

5)    Having a supportive community is important on this journey. Call the Quitline!

Don’t hesitate to contact the Asian Smokers’ Quitline, a free nationwide telephone program for Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese speakers who want to quit. When you call, a friendly staff person will offer various services: self-help materials, a referral list of other programs, one-on-one counseling over the phone, and a free two-week starter kit of nicotine patches. The Quitline is regularly available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Pacific Time:

  • 1-800-838-8917 Mandarin and Cantonese
  • 1-800-556-5564 Korean
  • 1-800-778-8440 Vietnamese

Hours will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 24 and 31, and closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.

6)    “Like” the Asian Smokers’ Quitline on Facebook. The Quitline offers tips and other information at

7)    Lastly, don’t give up on quitting. You can do it!


The Asian Smokers’ Quitline (, operated by the University of California, San Diego, offers free nationwide telephone assistance for Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese speakers who want to quit smoking and also assists nonsmokers seeking help for smokers. The funding for the new nationwide service is provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This post is also available in: Chinese

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