Congratulations of choosing to quit smoking. While this is great news, you’ll realize that quitting can be a difficult task, especially when cravings strike.
Most cigarette cravings last five minutes. While the craving can be powerful, there are ways to overcome them. Each time you resist a craving, you’re one step closer to stopping smoking.
So here are 10 ways to help you resist the urge to smoke when the craving strikes:
- Delay. If you feel like you’re going to give in, tell yourself that you must first wait 10 more minutes and then do something to distract yourself for that period of time. This simple trick may be enough to derail the craving.
- Don’t have ‘just one.’ You might be tempted to have just one cigarette to satisfy a tobacco craving. But don’t fool yourself into believing that you can stop at just one. More often than not, having just one leads to another, then another and then you’re back to square one.
- Avoid triggers. Urges for tobacco are likely to be strongest in the situations where you smoked most often, such as bars, or in the car or while watching television. Identify these situations and have a plan in place so that you can get through them without smoking.
- Get physical. Physical activity can help distract you from tobacco cravings and reduce the intensity of cravings. Just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity can make a tobacco craving go away.
- Practice relaxation techniques. In the past, smoking may have been your way to deal with stress. Trying to resist a tobacco craving can itself be stressful. Take the edge off stress by practicing relaxation techniques.
- Call your support group- Touch base with a family member, friend or support group member for moral support as you struggle to resist a tobacco craving.
- Remember the benefits of quitting. Write down the reasons you want to stop smoking and resist tobacco cravings.
- Go online. Join an online stop-smoking program. Or read a quitter’s blog and post encouraging thoughts for someone else who might be struggling with tobacco cravings.
- Try nicotine replacements. Try a nicotine replacement product instead of a cigarette. Some types of nicotine replacement therapy, including patches, gums and e cigarettes, are available over-the-counter.
- Chew on it. Give your mouth something to do to fight a tobacco craving. Chew on sugarless gum.