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Bye bye, cigarette! A group of colleagues launched an effort to quit smoking

Monday, 02 October 2023 |
There it was, the smoke signal. Literally. Some Upgraders who had the occasional habit of lighting a cigarette came knocking on our HR team's door. "How do we get rid of this?" A question a lot of people ask themselves. But unfortunately, the answer often gets shelved. Chief Happiness Officer Sofie Liekens organised a workshop in which tips and insights were shared. We are happy to share these with anyone who might need them.
Where is this urge to smoke coming from?

As a first step, ask yourself where the cravings for a cigarette come from. Why do you feel the need to light one up every so often? The answer could easily be: as a time filler, social occasion, habit or addiction.

But it can also have a deeper cause, which you may not yet know yourself. It may help to talk to a therapist about this. Know that at Upkot and Upgrade Estate, we offer 3 free sessions with a psychologist through our

Feel Free to Talk-initiative.

If your addiction stems mainly from habit, we have some tips, tricks & tools that can help you:

Healthy alternatives

To put it very simplistically, you are going to replace your behaviour (smoking) with healthier alternatives. The average time of the act of smoking a cigarette is 7 minutes. So you start looking for alternatives that bridge that time span. When you understand what the reward is for you after smoking, you start looking for other ways to get that reward too. Here is a list of alternatives that were shared among themselves during the workshop:

  • Bulk drinking (drinking lots of water once until you are completely satiated)

  • Eating a piece of fruit (think of a tangerine that you eat very slowly)
  • Sugar-free chewing gum
  • Exercise: go for a walk or jog
  • The act of making a tea
  • Stretching
  • Breathing exercises
  • ... (If you have any good tips of your own, let us know via our Upgrade Estate, Upliving or Upkot Instagram accounts)


Some handy tools

There are some tools that can help you along the way.



There are a number of handy apps where you can see how many cigarettes you would have smoked normally, how much money you are saving and how many years of life you can add. Examples are: QuitNow!, Smoke Free, Quit,... Those apps help as a motivator to keep going.



During the workshop, some books were also mentioned that can cause a switch in your mindset. Just think: 'Quit Smoking' by Allen Carr or 'Intermittent Living' by Siebe Hannosset.



One of the strongest alternatives to quit smoking are breathing exercises. These are good for a lot of reasons, but in terms of quitting smoking, they are mainly about reducing your stress levels. If you have a hard time sticking to those breathing exercises, the 'Moon Bird' can be a useful tool.

Sharing is caring

Do you have any other handy tips & tricks? Then feel free to share them with us via our social media pages.

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