Ten Ways to Avoid Cravings When Quitting Smoking
Tobacco cravings can be exhausting when you're trying to quit. When the desire to use tobacco strikes, remember that, regardless of whether you smoke a cigarette or chew tobacco, it will likely pass within five to ten minutes. Every time you withstand a tobacco craving, you get one step closer to quitting smoking.
Here are 10 strategies to help you avoid smoking or using other tobacco products when the temptation arises.
1. Using Nicotine Replacement Therapy - Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) can help to reduce cravings. NRT delivers small doses of nicotine without the other toxins found in cigarettes. NRT is available in gum, patches, lozenges, mouth spray, and other forms.
Nicotine chewing gum like RYZE can be used similarly to cigarettes or e-cigarettes. When you feel a craving coming on, pop a piece of nicotine gum, which releases a small quantity of nicotine to help you get rid of your craving. It's a type of nicotine replacement therapy that can help smokers quit and manage withdrawal symptoms as they embark on their smoke-free journey.
2. Use of relaxation techniques - You may have relied on smoking to cope with stress. It can be stressful to resist a tobacco craving. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, yoga, visualization, massage, or listening to calming music can help relieve stress.
3. Avoid potential triggers - Tobacco cravings are most likely to be strongest when you have smoked or chewed tobacco the most, such as at parties or bars, or when you are stressed or sipping coffee. Identify your trigger situations and create a plan to avoid or overcome them without the use of tobacco. Don't put yourself in a position to relapse. If you used to smoke while on the phone, keep a pen and paper nearby so you can doodle instead of smoking.
4. Prolong or delay - If you're about to succumb to your tobacco craving, tell yourself that you have to wait 10 minutes first — and then do something to distract yourself during that time. Try going to a smoke-free public space. These simple tricks may be sufficient to satisfy your tobacco craving.
5. Avoid the "only one" rule - If you have a cigarette craving, you might be tempted to smoke just one cigarette. But don't think you can stop there. Having one usually leads to another, and you may find yourself smoking again.
6. Chew - Give your mouth something to do to combat a tobacco craving. Chew sugar free nicotine gums like RYZE to satisfy your cravings.
7. Seek support - Participate in an online smoking cessation program. Alternately, you may visit a blog written by a smoke-free person and leave supportive comments for someone else who may be dealing with cigarette cravings. Look at how others have handled their urges to smoke. You can do the same on Quora or Reddit.
8. Become active - Physical activity can help distract you and reduce the intensity of your tobacco cravings. Short bursts of physical activity, such as running up and down the stairs several times, can help to curb a tobacco craving. Take a walk or jog outside. Try squats, deep knee bends, pushups, running in place, or walking up and down a flight of stairs if you're stuck at home or at the office. If you don't enjoy physical activity, try prayer, craftwork, woodworking, or writing. Do chores like vacuuming or filing paperwork to distract yourself.
9. Go to a smoke-free area - Being around people who are smokers can make you want to smoke more. Change your location if you notice that someone is smoking nearby. If someone is smoking next to you while you're standing outside, move away from them by going into the nearest shop to explore the shelves.
10. Remind yourself of the advantages - Write down or say aloud the reasons you want to quit smoking and resist tobacco cravings. Always remember that doing something to resist the urge is always preferable to doing nothing. And every time you resist a tobacco craving, you get one step closer to being tobacco-free.
Finally, remember that a craving is a call, not a command. By focusing on what truly matters—your family, friends, and future—you can reframe a short-term craving for a better end. The most important thing to remember is to keep a positive attitude. You'll eventually get there.