Senior Resources » 10 Helpful Tips For Quitting Smoking After 55

10 Helpful Tips For Quitting Smoking After 55

Old habits die hard. Whether it’s a morning routine that you’ve followed since you were in your thirties or the tendency to clear your throat when you’re nervous, we all have our little habits. Some are harmless quirks, but others can be detrimental to one’s health. Smoking is one such habit. According to the CDC, over 16 million Americans live every day with a disease caused by smoking. These statistics are no joke. If you’re a habitual smoker who’s looking to quit forever, you’re in the right place. Here are 10 tips for quitting smoking after 55.


1. Get an accountability partner.

two senior women sitting at the kitchen table drinking cofee together

Quitting smoking is hard, even for the most self-disciplined among us. Luckily, you don’t have to go through it alone. Find an accountability partner. This can be a fellow smoker who’s also looking for a quitting buddy or a former smoker who knows what it’s like to be in your shoes. Make sure it’s somebody who will hold you accountable and help you stick to all your goals. In other words—a reliable person.

2. Make a game plan.

Football players never head into a big game without a plan. The same principle applies to quitting smoking. Write down your goals. What preventative measures will you take if you get a cigarette craving? Do you have a “quitting deadline”? Have you decided how you’ll quit? Write down your plan from start to finish. And, once it’s written, make sure you stick to it!


3. Get active.

Studies have proven that exercise helps reduce nicotine cravings (according to If you want to put away your cigarettes forever, start an exercise routine! It doesn’t have to be anything strenuous. Just thirty minutes a day should help you stay in shape and keep those cravings at bay. Try jogging or walking. Swimming is also a good option for anyone with joint pain or mobility issues. The key is to stay moving!

4. Remove triggers.

lady saying no with hand up

Maybe your ashtray has been around longer than your oldest child. Or maybe you use a lighter your grandfather gave you. These things, however benign, can tempt you to smoke. You don’t necessarily have to throw away your ashtray or favorite lighter but put them in a place where they can’t be seen. Out of sight, out of mind.

5. Reward yourself for the small victories.

If you went a week without smoking, don’t let the opportunity to celebrate slip through your fingers! Reward yourself for all your victories—both big and small. Go out for a nice meal at your favorite restaurant or watch that new movie you’ve been dying to see. The good news is that after you give up cigarettes, you’ll have a little extra cash lying around. Another benefit of quitting smoking!

6. Drink more water.

two retirees drinking water

Drinking water is important under even the best of circumstances, but it may be imperative for somebody who’s trying to give up smoking. Water actually flushes nicotine and other harmful chemicals out of the system. Next time you crave a cigarette, take a drink of water instead. Bring a water bottle or a travel mug full of ice-cold water with you every time you go out. Make sure you stay hydrated!


7. Take care of stress.

Stress is a common trigger for smokers. Unfortunately, nicotine withdrawal may also cause stress. Talk about a toxic cycle! Whenever you feel stress, it’s important to eradicate it. The sooner, the better. Take a hot bath, complete with bath salts or bubbles. Unwind with your favorite show. Go for a walk. Talk it out with a friend. Stress is a formidable opponent, but it can be vanquished. Don’t let it get the better of you.

8. Join a smoking support group.

No man is an island! Even if you have an accountability partner, it doesn’t hurt to surround yourself with others who can help fight your battle. Join a smoking support group to connect with others also looking to kick their nicotine habit to the curb. The American Lung Association has Freedom from Smoking programs available both virtually and in person. You can also reach The American Cancer Society Quitline by dialing 800-227-2345.

9. Eat a well-balanced diet.

Whether you’re someone who has a salad with every meal or someone who struggles to eat leafy green things, it’s important to have a nutritious, well-balanced diet. Whole foods, like fruits and vegetables, can aid your body in flushing out toxins. Of course, you shouldn’t force yourself to eat fruits or veggies you don’t like! Stick with your favorites and try to incorporate a serving of fruits or vegetables into every meal.

10. Be patient and kind to yourself.

Quitting a habit is hard work. There may be times that you backslide into your old ways. After all, you’re only human! Whenever you slip and fall, don’t stay on the ground. Get up, dust yourself off, and keep moving forward. Every step, however small, is progress. Be kind, be consistent, and—above all else—be patient. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Looking for more?

Whether it’s time for a change, or you’re just doing some research, we can help! At, we believe in the empowerment of older adults and their caregivers through knowledge. But, we also understand that at this juncture of life, time is your most valuable asset. So, why waste it doing another internet search? Senior Resource is your one-stop spot for all things retirement. We do the work and find all the facts, just so you don’t have to!

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Originally published October 18, 2023


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