15 Tips for Dealing with Cravings

Saturday, November 24, 2012

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Although you’ve decided that you want to quit smoking, you’re probably still going to want to smoke. Most people crave cigarettes for a while after they quit smoking. Just remember: the urge to smoke will come and go—and eventually it will go away for good! Try to wait it out—most cravings only last a few minutes.

Here are some more tips that can help you deal with them:

  1. Do things and go places where smoking is not allowed
    Some good places are malls, libraries, museums, theaters, department stores, and places of worship. Keep this up until you’re sure you can stay smokefree.

  2. Hold something
    Do you miss having a cigarette in your hand? Hold something else. Try a pencil, a paper clip, a marble, or a water bottle.

  3. Put something in your mouth
    Do you miss having something in your mouth? Try toothpicks, cinnamon sticks, lollipops, hard candy, sugar free gum, or carrot sticks.

  4. Drink a lot of water and fruit juice
    Avoid drinks like wine and beer. They can trigger you to smoke.

  5. Walk or brush after meals
    Instead of smoking after meals, get up from the table. Brush your teeth or go for a walk.

  6. Take public transit instead of driving, if you can
    If you always smoke while driving, try something new. Listen to a new radio station or your favorite music. Take a different route. Or take the train or bus for a while, if you can.

  7. Stay away from things that you connect with smoking
    You may be used to smoking while watching TV, sitting in your favorite chair, or having a drink before dinner. Avoid these routines. Do it today and for the next few weeks.

  8. Remember, most people don't smoke
    If you must be someplace where you'll be tempted to smoke, like a party or in a bar, try to be near the non-smokers.

  9. Eat a healthy snack
    Keeping finger foods around instead of cigarettes will help you make it through a craving. Try carrots, pickles, sunflower seeds, apples, celery, raisins, or sugar free gum.

  10. Wash your hands
    Wash your hands or do the dishes when you want a cigarette very badly. Or take a shower.

  11. Breathe
    Take 10 slow, deep breaths and hold the last one. Repeat. Or practice Deep Conscious Breathing.

  12. Light a candle
    Light incense or a candle instead of a cigarette.

  13. Move around
    Where you are and what is going on can make you crave a cigarette. A change of scene can really help. Go outside, or go to a different room. You can also try changing what you are doing.

  14. Stay strong and continue to work hard
    No matter what, don't think, "Just one won't hurt." It will hurt.

  15. Try something—anything—just don’t give in!
    Remember: Trying something to beat the urge is always better than trying nothing.

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