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Things to do with your hands during Stoptober

Posted on 11th Oct 2017 | Share this article:

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A common theme among ex-smokers can be fidgety hands.

After years of smoking, some quitters miss the sensation of a cigarette between their fingers.

It can be a weird and irritating sensation to go through, and can feel worse if you’re quitting cold turkey, without the help of vaping or patches.

Along with the obvious craving of nicotine, missing the feeling of a cigarette in your hand is one of the first things you’ll notice when you quit. The habit of moving your hand from cigarette to mouth is repeated so much that sometimes quitters feel the need to do something with their hands.

So, instead of grabbing a pack, try these alternatives:

Take up knitting

In honour of National Knitting Week and Stoptober, why not attempt a new hobby? Knitting is an incredibly therapeutic activity that will not only calm your cravings but will also work your brain, helping to keep you distracted.

Hold a pen between your fingers

This one seems obvious, but it is one of the easiest. You might feel a little silly sitting about with a pen in your hand, but feeling the sensation of it could really help you bust the quitting blues.

Pick up a book

Whisking yourself away to a faraway land could be just the ticket for your fidgety hands. Keeping your hands and brain busy is a neat way of getting over your cravings and focusing your mind.

Play with a rubber band or stress ball

This is a good one for when you’re at work! Twiddling something can ease irritation and help you to slowly conquer the incessant need to have something in hand.

Invest in a fidget spinner

The clues in the name with this fangled contraption! These fun gadgets are aimed at kids, but with bigger, more advanced models being released, they make for a perfect fiddle tool for quitters.

Play on your phone

Replace the habit of having a Smoke with a new app or game. Allow yourself two minutes of social media or play your favourite game when you feel the need for nicotine! Putting your mind off the craving is one of the first steps to success.

Write out song lyrics

Distracting yourself by remembering the lines to your favourite song is an effective way to kick the habit.

Why not try to come up with a clever rhyme you can write out every time you need a cigarette? This will help distract your mind and hands whilst building up a skill.

Take a bath

The key to quitting is relaxing. You’ll feel ten times worse if you allow yourself to get irritated and angry every time you get a craving. When you feel like nothings working, run yourself a long bath and have some ‘you time’.


As well as being 95% less harmful than smoking, e-cigarettes don’t contain tar or carbon monoxide, two of the most harmful elements in tobacco smoke. Vaping allows you to still get your nicotine kick, but in a less-harmful way, meaning you can wean yourself off more effectively, while still giving your hands something to concentrate on.

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