Some smokers worry that quitting smoking may mean changing up their social activities and losing their “smoking buddies.” But not to fear, people who quit smoking may actually expand their social networks and make new friends!
While those who quit smoking may have less contact with smokers, they may also have the opportunity to try new activities and make new friends with other non-smokers.
The Social Side of Quitting
For many people, smoking is a social activity, so quitting smoking may mean a shift in your relationships with people with whom you once smoked. Let these smoking buddies know that you’re quitting, and that you’d rather hang out with them in smokefree places. Going bowling or mini golfing can unite many for an enjoyable evening.
Make sure to share your reasons for quitting with them – maybe they’ll be inspired to quit with you! Then, you can be each other’s supporters throughout the journey.
Wondering how to make new friends as you begin your quit journey? Read on for some tips on expanding your social circle that may compliment your quit.
Say Sayonara to Smoking Stigmas
Do you ever avoid social situations because you’re worried about what people will think about your smoking? Some smokers may feel judged, which can lead them to hide their smoking status from friends and family. This in turn may prevent smokers from reaching out to find support and help when they quit smoking.
When you quit, those stigmas may be a thing of the past. Additionally, you can enjoy spending time with family and friends without having to step out for a cigarette. Here are some things you might be able to look forward to doing with others without having to take a smoke break:
- Watching a movie in the theatre
- Going on a road trip
- Eating dinner at a favorite restaurant
The possibilities are endless – and so are the numbers of people you could meet.
New Hobbies With New Friends
Once you’re smokefree, there will be plenty of new things that you may want to try. Your health benefits may start the first day you’re smokefree, and can continue to increase the longer you keep it up. Celebrate your wellness by taking up a new hobby. Your community likely has plenty of options for having fun and meeting new people.
- Sports Leagues and Fitness Groups. Once your shortness of breath decreases and you are able to breathe better, why not look into fitness classes, or join a walking group or sports league? Exercising can help reduce urges to smoke, and may also help your mind, lungs, and heart function better. Plus, you’ll get to meet like-minded people who are also looking to keep fit!
- Cooking Classes and Gardening. One yummy benefit of quitting smoking is that your taste buds start to repair, and food can taste better. Celebrate by asking friends new and old to check out new restaurants with you. Additionally, your sense of smell starts to improve. Join a gardening club, and once you harvest your veggies, invite the club over to make a homemade meal and savor the smells that come with it. Cooking can help us feel more in control of our environment, and it connects us to the people we’re cooking with.
- Book Clubs and More. There are so many options for meeting new people in smokefree settings. Whatever your hobby is, be it movie watching, comic book reading, stamp collecting, or going to sporting events in smokefree stadiums, it’s likely that there are people who would jump at the opportunity to enjoy it with you. Look into groups forming at the library, rec center or music store.
Be in Good Company
As of 2002, there are more former smokers than current smokers in the U.S. People embark on quit journeys each day, and it’s very possible that your new friends might have quit smoking stories or tips of their own. Once you quit, you’ll get to join the ranks of millions of non-smokers and former smokers, all potential new friends who can inspire your quit journey every day.